People complain that, since they can’t see God, why should they trust him or even believe in his existence. This morning I was doing some catching up on some Old Testament reading, which meant taking in several chapters of Exodus, and came across a fascinating insight on that which I can’t recall hearing mentioned before.
Among the biblically literate, it is quite well known that, when Moses came down from the mountain with the tablets of the law, he discovered that Aaron and the Israelites had turned to worshipping a golden calf (Exodus 32). Less well known is that, not long before, Aaron and about seventy other leaders of the people had seen God on “… a pavement of sapphire” (Ex24:10) and that they were allowed to live.
One of the excuses of the calf-worshippers was that Moses was delayed in coming down from the mountain. I don’t know how long that was. I could probably find plenty of theories but I’ll take a guess and say perhaps 40 days (on the basis that 40 is quite a common time period. That would be about the period from now back to the beginning of the COVID19 lockdown in the UK. That feels like quite a long time ago but you would have thought that seeing God in his glory and being allowed to live would make a longer lasting impression.
I think the truth is that, while many people can nurse a grudge for decades, we tend to find encounters with God easy to forget. If God, say, appeared to us as a column of cloud by day, of fire by night and fed us with miraculous food while preventing our clothes from wearing out, we would have not a people of intense faith but a people who would stand all the more guilty when they turned back to doing the ungodly things that people tend to do.
Open our eyes of faith, Lord, that we might see and remember. Just to see with our eyes of flesh is proven to not be enough.