Last night in C-Group, we spent some extra time studying Exodus 32 concerning the Israelites fashioning the golden calf when Moses was MIA from the group for too long.  Moses is receiving the 10 commandments and other important info from the LORD Himself, and the people get restless.  They encourage Aaron to help God out, and so Aaron gets everyone to take off their jewelry and he throws it in the fire and makes a golden calf to worship.

While Jeff did a great job talking about the implications of this passage, there is a certain element in this passage we really spent some time on as a C-Group.  It has to do with Aaron’s explanation of his actions.  Here’s the lowdown: God alerts Moses to Israel’s transgression, Moses checks on it himself, he gets infuriated, and inquires Aaron how it happened.  Here’s Aaron’s explanation:

Exodus 32:22 “Do not be angry, my lord,” Aaron answered. “You know how prone these people are to evil. 23 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.’ 24 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 Aaron is confronted about his sin, he makes a fabricated statement to justify his actions.  He makes excuses.  While his excuse seems ridiculous, so do ours.  “The devil made me do it.”  “I wouldn’t have said that but she made me so mad.”  “I’m like that way because of my dysfunctional family.”  “We didn’t go all the way.”  “She deserved it.”

Aaron should have owned his mistake.  He should have repented and displayed honesty and responsibility.  And so should we.  When we sin, we need to stop justifying our actions.  We need to stop blaming other people.  We need to stop making excuses for sinful actions.

We need to man up.  We need to own our mistakes.  We need to accept responsibility for our mistakes and beg God for mercy.  He knows the truth.  He knows we are hopeless without Him.  He’s just waiting for us to admit it.

Travis Agnew is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. He serves as the Senior Pastor of Rocky Creek Baptist Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is What God Has Joined Together.