Short-term Memory Loss

Sometimes I’m just like Dory; I suffer from short-term memory loss forgetting what the LORD just told me.

One Word –

When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. 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. Exodus 32:1

Daily Bible Reading: Exodus 31, 32; Luke 18:15-43; 19

Big Idea –

Way back in Exodus 19-20 the LORD had called His people to a sacred assembly with Him at Mt. Sinai. At the appointed time God came down upon the mountain speaking the words of the covenant for all the people to hear. The LORD made know what we call ‘The Ten Commandments,’ yet perhaps we mistakenly focus too much on law rather than love. These would be carved into tablets of the covenant and not ‘commandment tablets.’ Similarly these tablets would be placed within the Ark of the Covenant, not the ark or chest of commandments. Let’s not lose sight of God’s desire to have a loving relationship with His people establishing a covenant of love with them. (Jewish tradition actually teaches that at Mt. Sinai was their wedding day being united with the LORD; this could be why Paul refers to followers of Jesus as “the bride of Christ.”) Alas, I digress.

Somewhere between one to four weeks have probably passed since God spoke to the people. Israel should not have forgotten a day unlike any they had ever experienced; a day they stood in fear as God spoke directly to them. But they apparently had short-term memory loss.

Moses would spend forty days on Mt. Sinai before returning to the valley to find the people worshiping the golden calf. At some point they became impatient waiting for Moses to return. Remember, Moses was their intermediary representing them before the LORD; the people believed or had faith in the LORD and in His servant Moses (see Ex. 14:31 or Faith First). With Moses gone they needed someone or something to represent God before them.

So the people looked to Aaron, Moses brother. They said, “Make us gods who shall go before us.” They had been brought out of Egypt, but Egypt was still within them. Even though they had heard the LORD say that He was their God who delivered them from bondage and to have no god or image take His place, they asked Aaron to make a god for them just like the Egyptians had.

This was Aaron’s first opportunity to function as a priest to direct the people to worship the LORD according to His covenant of love and not like the Egyptians. But Aaron missed this opportunity making the golden calf and leading the people to worship the LORD before it.

The LORD told Moses what the people were doing. God even told Moses that He would destroy them and make Moses into a great nation. But Moses was the intermediary interceding for the people before the LORD. Thus rather than wipe them all out for their sin, God gave Aaron a second chance along with the people of Israel.

Sometimes, I’m just like Israel – suffering from short-term memory loss I get impatient and in a hurry. I’m glad God gives me second (and third, and fourth . . .) chances too.

Exemplify –

As I face uncertainties before me I sometimes feel like God is absent becoming impatient and look for what I think is the answer or best thing to do. I need to stop being in a hurry and learn to wait patiently upon the One who promised to never leave me.

Yes to Yield –

LORD Jesus, forgive me for not trusting You completely. Help me to not rush ahead of Your perfect timing by trying to figure things out on my own. Your ways are not my ways; therefore, continue to give me ears to clearly hear the voice of Your Holy Spirit and a willingness to follow in Your steps – even when all You ask me to do is to simply stand and wait. Help me to not get in a hurry. You will show the way and answer each prayer as I simply wait in hope on You.


If you’re new to Living It Now, you can find an explanation of the O-B-E-Y journal on the Hearing and Doing page, or the sample post Guard Duty.

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