Deuteronomy 9:21 "I took your sinful thing, the calf which you had made, and burned it with fire and crushed it, grinding it very small until it was as fine as dust; and I threw its dust into the brook that came down from the mountain."
I read this verse last night while preparing to teach our small group of ladies next week. (I'm teaching chapter 10, but wanted to get a handle on the chapter before in my preparations!) This verse stuck out to me like I haven't experienced in a while. I even woke up this morning with these words running through my mind, that never happens to me! These words are so true in our lives. It is a great picture of what we ought to do with the sin in our lives and what sin can do to us.
Here's the thought that I had about this: The Israelites were wandering in the desert with likely nothing more than the clothes on their back and whatever they could have easily carried with them from Egypt. (One of God's provisions to them was that their clothes never wore out in the 40 years they wandered! So cool!) So Moses goes up into the mountain to speak to God for 40 days and nights and God gives him 2 stone tablets that He personally wrote the 10 commandments on with His finger. How awe-inspiring is that?! While Moses is up on the mountain, God says to him, my people are doing stupid things down there and I am ticked. (Clearly paraphrasing!) But basically, God saw what they were doing and was so angry that He wanted to completely destroy them and start over, but He doesn't because Moses intercedes for them. (But that's another post for another day!)
So Moses goes down with the 10 commandments to confront the people. The Israelites gathered together all the gold that people had with them and created this golden calf. This got me thinking, gold wasn't exactly cheap or easy to come by, especially in this desert, so they must have passed it down from older generations and through families and brought them out of Egypt with them. I can imagine women giving up their wedding rings, and the earrings that their mother gave them and the necklaces and rings and bracelets that had memories and meaning attached to them. And they gave them over to make a golden calf to worship while Moses was on Mt. Sinai.
So my question is, if they were willing to give over the things that were precious to them for their sin, what are we handing over to the devil in trade for our sin?
I also noticed Moses' response to the calf they made. He throws down the 10 commandments (which is also another post for another day) and utterly destroys it to the point that there is nothing but dust left and he sends it down the river. There are 2 ways of looking at this that I see:
1. This is what sin does to the things that are precious to you that you chose to compromise for sin. Sin has a way of mangling everything that we hold dear. It tears relationships apart, rips everything away from you, and pulls you away from God. It is a destroyer of hopes and dreams and all things precious.
2. This is what we must do to the sin in our lives. When we recognize the sin or idle in our lives, we have to destroy it completely. Get rid of it! burn it, crush it, grind it up, and send it down the river. God says that His grace is like an ocean without a bottom or shores. It is huge! Drown that sin in His grace and we will be forgiven. His grace is sufficient enough for my sin, your sin, and every single person that has ever been or will ever be! That is exciting!