My Thoughts. . .
Thursday, October 21, 2019
A few years ago, the first male member shocked everyone when he entered the assembly with a gold earring in one ear. It didn’t take long for this fad to catch on and soon earrings began showing up on boys and men each week. Long ago Solomon wrote, “There is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). It’s hard to believe, but he was correct. In Exodus 32:24 Aaron asked Israel to give him the earrings from “your wives, your sons, and your daughters.” So, when the US male population decided to wear one, it wasn’t as novel as they thought.
Why did Aaron want gold earrings? Moses had been on the mountain too long. Some thought he wasn’t coming back. That number also felt that Moses had brought them into the wilderness to die. They wanted to return to Egypt, and they desired to be led back with a gold god. God told Moses what Israel was doing. Notice how God phrases the reason! “Go down! Because YOUR people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves” (Exodus 32:7). God does not refer to them as “MY people.” Why? They “have corrupted themselves.”
They were not “corrupted” because the males were wearing earrings. They sinned because they wanted a golden image to lead them rather than Yahweh! They wanted to follow that idol back to Egypt rather than be led by Almighty God to the Promised Land. Do you remember the condescending remarks made when the first male appeared wearing an earring? The same was true when hair covered a young man’s ears and the back of his collar. New rules were created concerning who could “wait” on the table. Remember the first time a young woman wore slacks to the assembly? This change in culture drove some crazy and preachers suddenly began quoting Old Testament scriptures to justify their New Testament objections. We never considered such protests being inconsistent. In a sense, our former cultural objections may have ended up being our golden calf! Even our history should have been a clue but wasn’t.
In the sixties we were asked to keep a couple’s three-year-old daughter for an hour or so. Being curious she reached for a small box containing some bobby pins. For those who may not be familiar with that term, women of that day used them to pin their hair in place. When she pulled the box off the dresser, it fell and scattered pins all over the floor. When we asked her what happened, she said, “That box just hopped up all by itself and fell on the floor!” Remember Solomon’s statement about nothing new? That three-year old’s explanation was illogical, but she was not the first to use that type of excuse.
When Moses asked his brother Aaron about the golden calf, Aaron’s reply was,
“You know how these people are. They are evil! They told me: ‘Make a god for us to lead us! . . . And I said to them: ‘Whosoever has any gold, let him take it off.’ So, they gave it to me. Then I threw it into the fire, . . . and out came this calf!” (Exodus 32:22-24).
Aaron’s type of justification would later be a three-year old’s alibi of innocence! Do you and I offer that kind of justification for our sins? Remember Solomon’s “nothing new” statement?