Topic: Obedience, Consequences
In Exodus chapter 24, Moses and Joshua went up on Mount Sinai to meet with God and receive the commandments written on stone. Now they stayed up there for 40 days. Do you think the children of Israel waited patiently? Surely after just being given God’s commands verbally they would be able to wait 40 days without messing up, right? Wrong!! After a while they came to Aaron (who Moses left in charge) and said that since they didn’t know what had happened to Moses they should make their own god.
Now let’s think about that. Less than 40 days ago, God spoke to Moses and told him the rules to live by which he told the people. The second one clearly said not to make anything we worship instead of God. So was this a good idea? No Way! But Aaron listened to the Israelites instead of remembering the rules. So he had all the people bring him gold jewelry and made a golden calf from it.
Now I know to us the idea of bowing down and worshiping something we just made seems pretty silly. But in those days most of the other cultures around them made statues to represent their gods and the worshiped these objects as representatives of their gods. The people of Israel would have found this to be more “normal” than worshiping an unseen God.
So Aaron made the golden calf and they offered sacrifices to it. And generally had a big party to show honor to this idol. Meanwhile, on the mountain, God (who sees everything) begins to tell Moses what the people are doing. As you can imagine, God is not happy. God then basically tells Moses that the people are a stubborn bunch and God has had it with them. God says He will destroy them and make a new, great nation from Moses.
Moses then reminds God of the promises He made to Abraham and Isaac and God agrees not to destroy them. (God does listen when we talk and we can influence His decisions!) Moses then picks up the stone tablets with all God’s commands and he and Joshua head back down the mountain. Joshua thinks he hears fighting in camp but Moses sees the party. He is so mad at their sin, he throws down the tablets and shatters them!!! Moses then completely destroys the calf and asks Aaron how he could let them convince him to do this. Moses then calls out any men who are for the Lord. The sons of Levi join him and they get their swords and kill 3000 of the sinning people. Moses then prays for God to forgive the people, which God does, but they do suffer a plague (terrible sickness) for their sin.
But if God forgave them why did they have to get sick? This is called a consequence. When you blow air in a balloon the result is the balloon gets bigger. Another word for result is consequence, except consequences are usually a bad result. When we choose to do something there are always results. If we do good things the results are usually good. When we choose to sin there are usually consequences. This doesn’t mean God doesn’t forgive us or love us, it just means we have to pay a price to learn our lesson. The reason God (and our parents) gives us rules is so that we get good results and don’t have to suffer consequences. God can see ahead and know that if we do somethings, someone will get hurt. So, He set rules to protect us. Making good choices helps us avoid bad consequences!
Discuss some situations that can have consequences. Such as: not studying for a test, lying to a friend, not feeding your pet, etc.
Consider telling your child about consequences you have had to deal with and what you wish you had done instead.