"Now when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron and said to him, 'Come, make us a god who will go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.' [So] he took this from their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool and made it into a molten calf; and they said, 'This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.'" (Exodus 32:1, 4)God had lead the people out of the land of Egypt. His Spirit went before them as a cloud by day and a pillar by night. At Mount Horeb, He appeared to the people and spoke to them from the midst of the fire and smoke. God invited Moses up into the mountain to receive the instructions from the Lord. As the days passed, the people became restless and they wondered what could have become of Moses? As time passed, they finally gave up on Moses and looked for another leader to lead them back to Egypt. To this end, Aaron fashioned a golden calf and set it before the people and declared it to be their god. In their fear and unbelief, they forsook the Lord and Moses as their leaders and made for themselves and idol to lead them; to lead, protect, and provide for them.
Many, if not most, western nations have made of their government an idol. Increasingly, people are looking to their governments to provide for their needs. In my country, our government now provides for retirement, a minimum wage for workers, welfare for the poor, and if some would have their way, our government would also be in charge of providing and regulating our health care. We have become a people who no longer look to God for our needs and prosperity, rather we look to government to provide these things. How many times have I heard someone say, "There must be a law!" or, "The government should do something!" Yet many times, government is not the solution to our problems, God is! It is God who gives us the power to create wealth, so why do we look to government to provide welfare and to secure us a minimum wage for our work? Why do we put greater faith in our government to secure our prosperity than we do in God?
In establishing government as an idol, many in government have been complicit. Just as Arron and the people, the people have demanded government to fulfill the roll of God in their lives and the rulers have been all too willing to comply. Politicians routinely promise programs, subsidies, money, and opportunities in order to garner the people's votes. They play on the people's desires to secure their own power and position.
As citizens, we must repent for rejecting the Lord and looking to government to meet the needs of our life. For those who govern, they too must repent for acting like god and thinking they could provide for people what God meant for Himself to provide. We must never allow our desire for leadership, security, or prosperity to cause us to demand a government to replace God. We must never allow government to become our idol.
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