Chronicles of a Saint
What are you making in life?
A few weeks ago as I was studying the Scriptures, a particular set of words caught my attention. I felt a strong urge to unearth what the verse really meant. Little did I know the treasures of truth that were in stall for me. It spoke to my heart very deeply and I hope the same happens to every reader of this article.
When Moses failed to come back down the mountain right away, the people went to Aaron. “Look,” they said, “make us some gods who can lead us. This man Moses, who brought us here from Egypt, has disappeared. We don’t know what has happened to him.” 1 The setting of this verse takes us back to the time when the Israelites had camped near Mount Sinai after leaving Egypt and miraculously crossing of the Red Sea. Additionally, prior to this, they had witnessed God providing food from above, drank water from the smitten rock and even heard God speaking to their terror.
Moses had delayed up in the mountain since he was receiving the commandments, laws and regulations to govern them as they traversed on earth. Scripture record that he was away for more than 40 days. This was too long for the people of Israel to wait. Simply put, they became impatient. Thus they came to Aaron, Moses’ brother and uttered the words, ‘Make us some goods who can lead us.’’ Thus far, they had not recognized that it was not Moses but the Omnipotent God of heaven leading them.
Sadly, Aaron gives in to their demands and commands them to remove earrings from their wives and daughters. Somehow, he must have been speaking to the men. Aaron went ahead to make a golden calf. Once he presented it to the people, they exclaimed in one accord, ‘’O Israel, these are the gods who brought you out Egypt!’’ 2 An altar was also built such that they also worshiped and sacrificed to this so called ‘god’. It was amidst the eating, drinking and partying that they engaged in immorality. The narration ends very tragically: God sent a plague that destroys a lot of people in a day.
What can we learn from all these? The fundamental reason for the tragedies that befell them sprouted from their lack of patience. They felt as if God had delayed, that He had forgotten about them. When indeed their welfare was the object of His contemplation, they defiantly proclaimed, ‘’make us gods who can lead us.’’ How many times do we act like those people did? How many times have we been impatient in life? What have we gone ahead to make for ourselves, forgetting His unchanging promises? How many times have we turned to other founts for guidance when the Lord seemingly took long to respond?
Concerning this, I am reminded of daughters of Lot. Sodom and Gomorrah had been their abode up until God pronounced judgement over those cities. Then, God rescued them together with their father from the imminent destruction. After their escape, they found themselves living alone with their father in a cave. And then the older one suggested to his younger sister, ‘’there isn’t a man anywhere in this entire area (other versions say whole world) for us to marry. Come, let us make our father drink, that we may preserve the lineage of our father’’. 3 We know that they used an incestuous way just to get children. Concerning this, I pause to reflect: How many have been single for ‘long’ according to the world’s estimation? No suitors come their way and they were unsure of what would happen to their future. How many have fallen for this age old lie, ‘’there isn’t a man anywhere in this entire area for us to marry.’’ And when someone who is totally unfit for them crosses their path they say, ‘’Come and make me children. See I am getting old; I do not know what became of God’s promise of putting the lonely in families. In the process, their integrity is lost and their characters are tainted. Beloved, what are you making in life?
Still there are others who desire fame and gain. Of this category, we find a congruent representation in Sacred History. These are the people who wanted to make a name for themselves. God had a destroyed the whole world but eight during the Flood. Years later after listening to the legend, some men conspired saying, “Come, let’s make bricks and fire them well.” Come, let’s build ourselves a city and a tower that reaches Heaven. Let’s make ourselves famous so we won’t be scattered here and there across the Earth.” They wanted to build a tower that soared even to the highest heavens. A place of refuge which could house them in case another flood was sent to destroy humanity. However, God who is the discerner of thoughts and intents knew that a wrong motivation was behind this project. Thus, he couldn’t allow it to continue and brought about confusion inasmuch that the men were unable to get along and scattered all over the world. The builders of the Tower of Babel had failed to believe in God’s promise: I will set up my covenant with you so that never again will all life be cut off by floodwaters. There will never again be a flood to destroy the earth.” 4
What about others who say to their instructors, See I have been studying hard yet I am always lagging behind. Now, make me grades that will satisfy my heart. I want to be known as one who is excellent so that I can secure good jobs and live a comfortable life. They are willing to stoop to whatever low so as to get clean papers and in the process they stain their lives. The promise, ‘’For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord’’ 5, seems so distant to be believed. They limit God’s power in their lives not knowing that perhaps God may have blessed them in another way apart from through education. Beloved, what are you making in life?
What many don’t understand is that whatever we make in life, we must be willing to sacrifice for it, no matter how high the cost is. The price might be so high such that it trickles down to people who did not deserve to be affected. Think of the Israelites’ story; the men’s demands went on to affect their wives and children. For them, the price was death. For the daughters of Lot, the offspring brought forth went on to become a terror to the Israelites for ages. The price paid was a tainted record in the scriptures not to mention the thousands whose lives were destroyed by the Amalekites and Moabites. What about the builders of Babel’s tower? They were separated from their families and wasted a lot of resources. What are you willing to sacrifice as a result of making unwise choices by failing to trust in God? Your character, your resources or even your life? O that we may never forget the advice our master Jesus gave us: ‘’Do you gain anything if you win the whole world but lose your life? There is nothing you can give to regain your life.’’ 6
In conclusion, God set an example worth emulation by all His followers. On the sixth day of creation week, He proclaimed the words: ‘’Let us make man in our own image.’’ Though man was the crowning work of His creation, he was made on the last day. God was patient with Himself and followed His set plan till the end. And because he understood that whatever you make, you must be willing to pay the price, He did not shy away from man when He sinned in the Garden of Eden. He understood that He must bear the consequences even though He was not responsible. Through Christ, God reconciled the world to himself. Through the precious wounds of Christ, our worth was displayed for the whole world to see. He who was equal with God lay aside His kingly garments and came down to earth. He was born as a human, lived a life of poverty and humility. He was disgraced, despised and afflicted because of our sins. He bore the sins of the whole world that none may perish but all may gain eternal life. What more shall we say then? May the good Lord keep us our hearts, souls and body unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. May we learn to take Him at His word and to be patient with Him even when He seems so distant from us. After all He has promised to give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in Him.
1 Exodus 32:1
2 Exodus 32:4
3 Genesis 19:31-32
4 Genesis 9:11
5 Jeremiah 29:11
6 Mark 8:36