The Mis-used Gift

                                        The Mis-used Gift
This last week I have been studying in the book of Exodus, preparing for our new ladies study of the Tabernacle of Moses. I NEVER get tired of the story of God delivering, guiding, providing and dwelling with His people.  I am in chapter 32.  I love the heading of this chapter, so to the point, tells of the whole sad scenario in 3 words… The Golden Calf.  
While Moses is up top on the Mountain getting the instructions for the materials and the building of the Tabernacle, the children of Israel were down below… ‘playing’.  
Chapter 25:1-3, 8 (NIV)
The LORD said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give. These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze… “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.”
Fascinating!  While God was telling Moses to have the people bring HIM their gold… the gold HE provided for them, when leaving Egypt:
And the people of Israel did as Moses had instructed; they asked the Egyptians for clothing and articles of silver and gold. The LORD caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the Israelites, and they gave the Israelites whatever they asked for. So they stripped the Egyptians of their wealth!  (Ex. 12:35-36)
See what the people were doing with a portion of the GOLD.  The gold they were to offer to HIM.  GOD’s gold. 
The people grew extremely impatient waiting for Moses.  Moses was their leader, the spokesman for their God.  No leader, no God was their mindset… we can’t see our God, we can’t touch our God… so what did they do … ‘make their God’.  Isn’t that so true today!  We want… we make to fill and feed our insecurities.  
The people went to poor Aaron, (yes, I like this dude) telling him, ‘make us gods, who will go before us’.  So Aaron told them ‘take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing and bring them to me.’
They did so, and the golden calf was made… Aaron built an altar in front of the calf, and sacrifices were presented by the people.  They continued on as mentioned in verse 6 ‘they got up to indulge in revelry’.  The King James says ‘they rose up to … play’.  They were mocking, and as verse 25 says ‘they were running wild’.  You can imagine what ‘running wild’ means – they were being ‘naughty’.
God sends Moses back down off the mountain, and Moses finds this MESS!  In his anger AFTER he throws the tablets to the ground… he melts down the golden calf and grinds it into powder, then adds it to the water and makes the people drink it.  It was the only way to ‘completely’ destroy the idol. 
What a stinkin waste of good GOLD!  Gold that was provided for the people for a specific purpose!  The Tabernacle, a place God’s presence would dwell, a place of worship.
After I got over the chuckle of Aaron’s response to Moses… ‘I threw in the gold, and looky there, out came a calf’ – HA!   The Lord spoke to me in this.  We do the same thing today… God provides something, someone, even a circumstance intended to be used for HIM, His use… His presence –  His glory… and what do we do with it… we make it into something for … US!  Once it is made, we worship, we play, run wild…
May we seriously consider what the Lord has given us… gifts we have (are) mis-using, that is intended for HIM.  To be direct and specific… do we have talents, skills, finances, time, relationships (the list goes on), are we taking those and making for US?
Personally, I don’t want God to make me ‘eat’ or drink something that was meant for a blessing, because I mis-used it!  I get enough of humble pie!  How about you?
Have God-loving, don’t mis-use the gift, week…
In Him, DeDe (You thrill me, LORD …) Ps. 92:4

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