‚ÄúGo up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.‚Äù
When the people heard these distressing words, they began to mourn and no one put on any ornaments.‚Äù
(Ex 33:2-4 NIV)
The people just got done turning all of their gold earrings and ornaments into a golden calf, and then God struck them with a plague as they travelled onward. So now they hear that God isn’t going with them and nobody put on any ornaments.
That’s almost funny.
“oooh! Remember? God doesn’t like our earrings. Moses took what we made with our earrings and burned it up, ground up the ashes, dumped it in water and made us drink it because he hated our earrings so much!”
This one is right up there with people sleeping together and when they realize that it’s wrong, instead of exploring how they can have a pure relationship together, they say “We’re going to get married to make it right.”
But what if getting married to each other isn’t right?
What else have we been rebuked for, or corrected of, and instead of seeing what God said, we look at some totally unrelated thing as evil, and we got rid of it, or we baptized it and made it Christian (ie. violent Christian children’s super-heroes who quote the Bible while they beat up the ugly, dentally-challenged bad guys.)
Let’s try to listen closely to the real things God is cleaning out of us. The problem wasn’t the earrings. The problem was the people giving up on God and turning their earrings into a calf and worshipping it and giving it credit for something God did.
God told them to take off their ornaments before they went on. I wonder if God took them away so that none of them would even have a remaining symbol of what they had done. Later on, those ornaments would be beaten down and shaped into the ARK OF THE COVENANT!
I could explore that more, but I’m out of time! Fill in the rest with comments!