“God said to Moses, “I look at this people—oh! what a stubborn, hard-headed people! Let me alone now, give my anger free reign to burst into flames and incinerate them. But I’ll make a great nation out of you.” Exodus 32:9,10
Moses busted his buns when he moved the Israelites out of Egypt, and now God wanted to “burst into flames and incinerate them” because they were worshipping false gods. Moses had the audacity to tell God he needed to reconsider. Why would God destroy what he had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Israel that they would have as many descendants as the stars in the sky. God listened to Moses’ plea and put up with the antics and disrespect of the Israelites for forty years.
I see the behavior of the Israelites to be similar to how toddlers act. We just completed a ten-day visit with our daughter in New Jersey. I hadn’t seen the boys for six months, and I was quite amazed at how the four-year old changed from being compliant to expressing himself on everything from what he would wear and what he would eat. He has become attached to his toys and his mother and sharing isn’t his strong suit. The six-year old could discern the consequences of his actions and conformed more quickly to the requests of his parents.
The Israelites became disenchanted with their journey and began to act like four-year olds. When we dig our heels in the sand and defy everything that doesn’t fit with our perspective or is not within our comfort zone, we raise the fury in God, and everyone around us.
Lord, help us move out of our stubborn ways to be compliant with your will for us. Amen.