“So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: “Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?” (Acts 3:12 NKJV).
When Moses delayed in returning from the Mount Sinai where he had gone to receive from God the tables of the law, the children of Israel became perplexed and agitated, and said to Aaron, the next in command to Moses, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” (Exo. 32:1).
But, rather than restraining and rebuking them, Aaron fashioned a molded calf for them. Who should be blamed for the people’s carnality, immaturity or idolatry?
In the first part of this piece we began to draw out great lessons and cautions from this unfortunate incident.
First, we examined that Moses’ style of leadership contributed largely to the spiritual immaturity and carnality of the children of Israel. How?
The one man show leadership of Moses which elevated him greatly above the people, drew attention only to him, made all the people look up to him, and depend upon him for everything was what resulted in the people making a god out of Moses and also seeking for another god to replace him in his temporary absence.
Let us now consider more lessons.
Second, when God came down upon the Mount Sinai to speak directly with the children of Israel, the Scripture records that when the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; they trembled and stood afar off and they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” (Exo. 20:18-19 NKJV). Sadly, Moses accepted!
The result of that attitude or mindset was that the people didn’t get to know God intimately because they rejected communion with God. Only Moses got to know God intimately because of his deep and constant communion with God.
While the children of Israel continued to experience, witness and enjoy supernatural acts of God along their journey to the Promised Land, they became completely ignorant of the ways of God.
The Psalmist testifies to this in Psalms 103:
7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. (NKJV).
It is therefore no wonder that when Moses left them for a short while, they became fearful, perplexed and agitated, and thus sought for new gods to be with them and lead them on in their journey.
It takes deep and constant communion with God to know Him intimately and understand His ways!
It is the unwillingness of the children of Israel to draw near to God in deep communion that resulted in their ignorance, unbelief, confusion, spiritual immaturity, carnality and idolatry. This is still the primary cause of the spiritual immaturity, carnality and idolatry in the Church today.
Many servants of God today, like Moses, are proud and pleased to stand between God and His people as a prayer contractor or mediator. They pride themselves in having a special anointing or favour with God to get answers to prayers and thus enjoy a good patronage from immature and undiscerning people, who are only interested in experiencing God’s acts but not God Himself, and in receiving God’s miracles but not in knowing God’s ways.
While it is expected of a good pastor or leader to constantly pray or intercede for God’s people under his care, it is however wrong for any pastor to offer himself as a mediator or a go-between between God and His children.
There is no good substitute to you personally praying, communing or speaking directly with God, and personally studying, imbibing and meditating in God’s Word.
Under the New Covenant, every believer has equal access and right to God. God wants His children to grow in intimacy with Him through a regular and personal communion with Him. No pastor is called to be a mediator between God and His children.
Paul clearly states this truth in 1 Timothy 2:
5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (NKJV).
As a born-again believer, you don’t need to go through any prophet or pastor for you to relate or commune with God and receive answers to your prayers.
Lastly, when the children of Israel came to the Wilderness of Zin, they became very thirsty and had no water to drink, so they contended with Moses and Aaron (Num. 20:1-8). Although Moses became very angry, God was not. God spoke to Moses about His divine provision of water in the rock for His people.
Besides Moses striking the rock twice rather than speaking to the rock as God had instructed him, Moses’ words also confused the people and suggested to them that Moses and Aaron were the persons doing the miracle.
Consider what Moses said to the children of Israel, “Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?” (Num. 20:10 NKJV).
Therefore, the people were right to an extent to make a god out of Moses and to seek for another god to replace him in his absence. Here is a caution for all God’s servants!
Beloved, you need to be extremely careful with your words while ministering to God’s people. You must never fail to make it very clear to people that you are not the healer, the deliverer, the saviour or the miracle-worker, but Jesus Christ.
Unlike Moses, your words must never suggest that you are the one doing the supernatural works, but rather it is God working through you.
After the miraculous healing of the man who was lame from his mother’s womb at the gate of the temple, consider the attitude and declaration of Peter when the people were greatly amazed, looking at him and John as gods.
12 So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: “Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?
13 “The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go.
14 “But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,
15 “and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.
16 “And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. (NKJV).
Friend, this should always be your mindset, attitude and declaration after any miraculous acts performed by God through you if you don’t want the spiritually immature and undiscerning people to make a god out of you, or seek for another god to replace you in your absence.
When your words or actions after any miracle suggest to the people that it is you who did it, you have subtly made a god for the people to worship. This is the undoing of many ministers of God today!
Therefore, beware of making or presenting yourself as a god to God’s people by your one man show or egocentric leadership, or by offering yourself as mediator between God and His people, or by subtly suggesting by your words or attitudes that you are the one performing the miracles for God’s people.
If you don’t, like Moses, you will end up raising only a bunch of spiritually immature, undiscerning, carnal and idolatrous babies, who may hinder you from making it to the Promised Land as they did to Moses.
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, I refuse to make myself a god to Your People or make for them any god to worship. Help me Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name. Amen.