Contend Earnestly: The Lord of the Flies

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Lord of the Flies

In Sunday School we have been studying through the Old Testament and we came across the golden calf about 2 weeks ago and I thought of something that was of some interest. The story goes that Moses comes off the mountain and finds Aaron and all these morons dancing and worshiping around a golden calf. (See dancing is a sin...kidding...but still funny). Moses is pretty peeved and does something pretty interesting. It is found in Exodus 32:20

He took the calf which they had made and burned it with fire, and ground it to powder, and scattered it over the surface of the water and made the sons of Israel drink it.
Exodus 32:20

Now, most commentators say that the reason that this happened was because of the bitterness that the gold would turn the water's taste into, hence, Israel could see the bitterness of their sin. But, what if there is more to this?

When looking at our sin, we see that it is very grotesque in the sight of the Lord. Not only this, but anytime we find false prophets, God loves to make an example of them, sometimes even making fun of them. Jeremiah says that they are "committing adultery with stones and trees" and Jesus calls false prophets blind, snakes and sons of the devil.

When we look to sin Paul is one of the most descriptive of his legalism in Phil 3:8 when he says that he counts all his fleshly honor as "rubbish." Which is a very strong word that means "dung" or "crap" or other very strong words meaning animal excretion. Isaiah even tells us that our righteous deeds are like "dirty menstrual rags" or for those less versed, they are like bloody tampons. If you want to know how terrible sin is just read Ezekiel's accounts (Ezekiel 16)of the sins of Israel as he tells them that are like whores with their legs open to any that pass by. If this all isn't enough, the five sacrifices mentioned in Leviticus 1-7 should be enough to convince us that sin is truly an ugly thing to our God.

When we start to piece some things together, I think that the punishment of the golden calf is a little more than we think. When Elijah is on Mount Carmel comparing Baal to God, he says some pretty funny stuff but he also makes a suggestion that is pretty grotesque. Here is the verse that I am looking to:

It came about at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, “Call out with a loud voice, for he is a god; either he is occupied or gone aside, or is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and needs to be awakened.”
1 Kings 18:27

Pretty funny stuff. What is more funny is what Elijah suggests Baal is doing. The Hebrew word "siyach" or "occupied" is a term that was used of someone relieving himself. Elijah was asking if their god was on the toilet.

What connection does this have with Exodus 32? Here is the connection, and I believe God was giving the Israelites a word picture of what they did. 1 Corinthians 10:20 tells us that when the Gentiles sacrifice, or worship, someone other than God, they sacrifice to demons. We know that Satan is the head of the demons (Matt 12:24; Mark 3:22) and one of the words that is used of Satan in the New Testament is the term "Beezelbul" in Luke 11:18. When you do some searching you learn that this name is also used in the Old Testament and the term is of a god which means, "Lord of the Flies" or "Lord of Crap." Which shows why Elijah would make such a statement. Elijah saying that maybe their god is worshiping himself on the toilet.

Here is the picture that God is giving the Israelites. When the Israelites drink this water with their god in it, they will not pee this god out, but they will literally crap out their god. God shows the Israelites exactly what their god is, what he is god of and what good he is. God gives a great picture to the Israelites so that they will know exactly who is in charge and what kind of worth their golden calf is. Elijah suggested it, the Israelites had to experience it. Crazy stuff.


Scrambled Dregs said...

Interesting. I love God details.

I found your blog through a review at Amazon.

I'll be visiting again.

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