Monday, November 3, 2008

Foolishness of Worry

"We have sinned, even as our fathers did;
we have done wrong and acted wickedly...
They forgot the God who saved them,
who had done great things in Egypt...." (Ps. 106: 6, 21)

This Psalm refers to several incidents, including one recorded in Exodus 32 when Moses was away meeting with God and the people became restless. They told Aaron they wanted a physical god, one they could see and bow down to. Aaron agreed, and things went rapidly downhill from there.

I have always been perplexed by that gold statue. What led the Israelites to worship it? I wonder if this event was a symptom of fear. After seeing a number of pretty incredible miracles, it seems they hadn't experienced a physical representation of God in awhile. Compounding their struggle was the long absence of the leader who represented God to them. I imagine they did not wait well. They wanted to do something.

I still don't really understand the golden calf, but I can certainly see how anxiety so often leads to foolishness. In light of this reality, Philippians 4 makes a lot of sense. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (emphasis mine).

When we focus on and trust in God, He stands with us to help us see which thoughts and emotions are true, and which are off-base.

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