Exodus 32

The_golden_calfAaron said, "Master, don’t be angry. You know this people and how set on evil they are. They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will lead us. This Moses, the man who brought us out of Egypt, we don’t know what’s happened to him.’

"So I said, ‘Who has gold?’ And they took off their jewelry and gave it to me. I threw it in the fire and out came this calf." Exodus 32:22-24 (TM)

I grew up in a neighborhood with lots of kids. Video games hadn’t been invented and there were only four channels from which to pick on television. As a result, summer nights were spent playing various games with kids in the neighborhood. Among the regular games was "kick-the-can."

This particular night the empty, rusting Folgers coffee can was set upside down in our back yard. Scott Borg was "it" and guarding the can. Several other kids had been caught and it was my job to sneak up, kick-the-can before he could tag me, and set them free. I was hiding behind the garage. I waited for Scott to turn his back and then made my charge. Time slowed down. It was like I was stuck in slow motion. Scott turned and ran towards me. All I had to do was get to the can before he touched me. I ran. He ran towards me. I gave it my best pee-wee little league baseball slide. My foot fell inches short of the can. Scott tagged me.

"G– D—- it!" I swore.

"What did you say?" I heard from the back porch. Uh-oh. When did my dad come out to roll up the garden hose?

I was sent immediately to my room to go to bed (I was too old to spank at that point or I would have felt Dad’s righteous judgment on my padded behind). When my dad came in to scold me for using such language I immediately used the ages old tactic of pointing the blame elsewhere. My favorite was always blaming the older brothers. "Tim and Terry talk that way all the time!"

It was the Aaron defense (blame the people – it’s their fault).
It was the Adam defense (blame the woman – she gave me the fruit).
It was teh Eve defense (blame the serpent – he tempted me).

It didn’t work for me. It didn’t work for Aaron. It didn’t work for Adam. It didn’t work for Eve.

So why do we still default to blaming others for our own failures, shortcomings and poor choices?

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and thefuturistics

3 thoughts on “Exodus 32”

  1. Tom,
    I have been having my own little pity party at work recently…call me a whiner. I just read Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Red Book of Selling…This reminded me of his – Principle #1 “Kick your own A$$”
    I have been playing the “blame game” Your post was a timely reminder that whiners are wieners, not winners:)

  2. 9-10 God said to Moses, “I look at this people—oh! what a stubborn, hard-headed people! Let me alone now, give my anger free reign to burst into flames and incinerate them. But I’ll make a great nation out of you.”
    I had a conversation this morning after basketball about a young college student who was never held accountable by his parents as a young man. A couple of days ago he was drunk or high and killed another person in a motor vehicle accident. This young man is a product of a society that wants to be friends with its kids…not parents to them. He isn’t a bad kid….just never had consequences for bad behavior. He will suffer some serious consequences for the next few years. His parents very well could have done better showing a little anger and accountability in his early years. God shows us that He also has the ability to be angry. He was so angry He wanted to kill them all. After He counted to 10 He reconsidered. I believe God shows us through Scripture how to be a daddy. We need to hold our kids accountable for their actions.

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