Torah Portion: Ki Tisa (When You Take) Exodus 30-34
HafTorah: I Kings 18:1-39
Tonight we read about a number of different subjects, from taking a census to the incident with the golden calf. It is on this last topic that I want us to spend our evening looking at and discussing.
Beginning in chapter 32 we can follow the process that results in the terrible sin of the calf. Think about what is going on here like a split screen TV. On one side we see Moshe on the top of the mountain with G-d. Moshe had come into that place where heaven and earth intersected. He was with the Father. Now think about the other half of the screen where we see the children of Israel at the same time. They had grown impatient when Moshe did not return when they were expecting him to. When he didn’t appear they went to Aaron and asked him to make gods for them to lead them because they did not know what had become of Moshe.
One thing stands out here, G-d is not mentioned by the people. Their faith, which had been so strong before, melted now without a word about G-d. Why? Maybe their faith had been somewhat misplaced. Maybe their faith had been more in Moshe, someone they could physically see and touch. We see the same thing around us everyday. A charismatic leader with a strong personality falls form his place as leader and the congregation falls apart. They were looking to a man or woman to be there for them, to tell them what to do and how to do it. When something happens to that person, they fall apart. Where was Moshe? They forgot about the Father. Something like that happens here and it is for us a warning. Always look to the Father as your unchanging Rock. Back to our TV, Moshe is basically in heaven with G-d interceding for them while below the children of Israel are worshipping an idol and indulging themselves in what ever makes them feel good.
Surprisingly, or maybe not so much, in the book of Romans 8:34 we see the same picture before us. Yeshua is sitting at the right hand of G-d interceding for us below. Think of this example, a husband cheats on his wife while at the same time she is in the hospital giving birth to their child. It shows us the contrast on our TV screen. Love verses lust, building a relationship as apposed to instant gratification. Now for such things to happen, they don’t just happen. The calf here in these verses didn’t jump from the fire on its own no matter what Aaron says. Exodus 32:22-24. Neither do we just happen to sin. In order for us to sin we must consciously turn away, averting our attention away from heaven. Only then can we do what we do. Like here, once we no longer are looking at what is going on in heaven are we able to walk on the wild side and live and act according to our flesh.
What they didn’t see, because they had looked away, was Moshe in the presence of the Father interceding for them. He was not dead. For us this is exactly how we fall into sin and deception. We take our eyes off of Yeshua who is interceding for us. In our moment of passion or greed or weakness we move our attention to what we think will make everything better and satisfy our needs. We forget that Yeshua is crying out to the Father on our behalf. He knows we are better than this, we can come back to the greatness the Father has for us.
While we live here below, without a thought of what is taking place above, it is precisely this conversation taking place above that can save us. In fact here in our verses that is exactly what happened. The Father is ready to forgive the people and continue to build up His relationship with them.
The question is do we take a moment to consider what is going on in heaven while we go through our lives here below? If we did this daily, hourly, every moment, maybe we would be too embarrassed to sin. I know we all take our eyes off the mountain sometimes. My prayer for each of us is that those times become less and less as we always know what is happening in heaven for our sakes. Yeshua is always at the right hand of the Father interceding on our behalf.