Fear leads to all sorts of poor choices

Built on a Rock

In Exodus 19 it is recorded that God descended on Mount Sinai. When this happened, the mountain was covered in dark clouds; there were flashes of lightning and thunder. There was smoke because the Lord descended on the mount in fire, and the people of Israel were afraid.

Fear can cause us to make all kinds of poor choices.

Can you think of a time when fear has led you to make the wrong decision?

In Exodus 32 we have a biblical example of the Israelites making this kind of mistake.

“When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, ‘Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.’” (Exodus 32:1 NIV)

This statement is made in fear.

Moses, their leader, was nowhere to be found. What would they do? Where would they turn? The answer they came up with was to tell Aaron, the priest, to make them a new god to lead them. Basically, in fear the people of Israel looked for a human solution to their problem. They took matters into their own hands.

We need to challenge ourselves to reflect on how we as a nation have responded to the plague we have labeled as COVID-19.

When people got sick and the world panicked in fear, where did we turn?  Who did we turn to for answers? Did we respond to our fears like the Israelites by taking matters into our own hands? Did we look to other human beings for the answers to this huge problem?

It is clear that the Israelites, because of fear, took matters into their own hands. They demanded that Aaron make a god to lead them.

What could the Israelites have done differently?

Imagine if the Israelites chose to pray for help and to pray for Moses’ safe return.  Imagine if they chose to reach out to God in the midst of their fear. How might their story have ended differently?

What if we turn to God for help in the midst of our fears and choose to trust in God’s love, grace and mercy?  Then how will our story end differently than the story we read in Exodus 32?

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