[Moses] said to Aaron, “What did these people do to you, that you led them into such great sin?” “Do not be angry, my lord,” Aaron answered. “You know how prone these people are to evil. They said to me, ‘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.’ So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’ Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!”
When you look back on your life and recall your most shameful sins, how many of them were done in isolation? What I mean to say is how often has peer pressure led you down a path that you now regret? Why does that happen?
Friends and peers are a good thing. God created us for community and healthy relationships (Genesis 2:18). But, because we are so afraid of being abandoned, we will do almost anything to keep from being rejected, even if that means doing things that go against God’s will.
We see this even with God’s chosen leader Aaron. When Moses was meeting with God on Mount Sinai, Aaron built an idol at the request of the Israelites. He disobeyed God so that he might be welcomed by the crowd.
So how do we learn from Aaron’s mistake?
1. Remember who rescued you. Aaron had forgotten that it was the Lord who rescued him out of Egyptian slavery. It is the Lord Jesus who rescued us out of the slavery of sin. Only he is worthy of our complete allegiance.
2. If God is for you, who can be against you? Aaron worried about being abandoned or persecuted by the people. We might fear the same from our peers. But the Lord will never leave us. And our relationship with him is the most important relationship we will ever experience.
Dear Savior, lead me to treasure your acceptance more than the fleeting approval of my peers. Amen.