Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Passing the Buck

     When our children were growing up, we had an invisible person living in our home.  He would create all kinds of messes, be destructive and cause extra work.  We heard about him all the time though especially when our children were afraid they would be in trouble.  His name was "Mr. Nobody".  Each time we would ask who had broken something, we heard the reply, "I don't know."  Therefore, we knew it had to be "Mr. Nobody".  Isn't it funny how from children to adults we like to pass the buck?  No one wants to accept responsibility for bad decisions or for hurtful actions.  Thus, we have developed a culture that points their finger at everyone else but themselves.  It is never their fault.  So how has our country gone so far afield from honesty, the God ordained work ethic, and accepting responsibility for poor choices?  The answer is quite simple.  It started in the Garden.
     Adam and Eve were in a perfect environment with all of their needs met and the Lord Himself communed with them daily.  His only command was that they not eat from the tree of good and evil (Genesis 2:4-3:24).  As we may remember, Satan came in the form of a serpent and questioned God's command about not eating of the fruit making Eve doubt God.  She succumbed to temptation first and then Adam ate the fruit as well.  Their disobedience led to the fall of all mankind who has ever since inherited the sin nature.  Satan had lured them with the promise that they would be like God.  From that moment to this, man has by his inherited sin nature, desired to control his own life and do as he/she wants to do with no constraints.
     Throughout the Bible we see example after example of those who sinned and made excuses for their actions.  One of the better stories comes from the book of Exodus.  Moses has led his people out of captivity in Egypt.  He is assisted by his brother Aaron who serves as his spokesman and later who becomes the first high priest to God.  Moses has anointed him and set him, along with his sons, apart as ministers before the Lord.  Not only has he been given a special office before the Lord, but Aaron has also witnessed all the miracles which God did in Egypt.  This should cement his faith and belief in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  However, Aaron, like us, has a tug of war going on inside.  His sin nature, though defeated, can still rear its ugly head when he is tempted.
     In chapter 32 of Exodus, Moses has been gone from the people for a long time receiving The Ten Commandments from God on Mt. Sinai.  The people grew restless waiting and came to Aaron desiring him to make them a golden calf so they could worship it as the god who delivered them.  Aaron did not seem to hesitate when he was asked to do this, and called for everyone to give their jewelry to him.  With the melted gold, a calf was fashioned and the people rose up to play and feast.
     Nothing was hidden from God and He told Moses that the people were sinning.  When Moses came down from the mountain and saw the people playing before a golden idol, he threw the tablets containing God's commands down in anger.  Moses asked a very pointed question of Aaron his brother and high priest:  "What did this people do to you that thou have brought such a great sin upon them?" (vs.21).  Of course, Aaron tried to calm Moses by telling him that the people were set on evil. Once again the "buck is passed."
     As he continues his explanation about the people wanting gods who would go before them since they didn't know if Moses would return, he merely obliged them.  He concludes his explanation by stating in verse 24:  "So I said to them, 'Let any who have gold take it off.'  So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf."  When I read that verse, I had to laugh.  What an explanation!  Obviously, Aaron had a poor answer.  Sin never has a good answer for the destruction it brings.  It merely passes the buck and puts the responsibility on someone or something else.
     Moses did what we all need to do.  He recognized sin for what it is and called it out.  He asked the people in vs. 26 "Who is on the Lord's side?  Come to me."  We have to decide when confronted with temptation whose side are we on.  Will we take the easy road and go with the crowd as Aaron did or will we boldly stand for Christ?  Following the Lord means allowing Him daily to put more and more of our sin nature to death so that holiness and righteousness flow out of our lives.
     God desires for us to be formed into the image of His dear Son whom He sent to pay for our sins.  Accepting God's gift of salvation is the first step, but it is a journey.  Being a Christian means denying self, taking up our cross and following Him rather than making excuses, blaming others, and avoiding the consequences that come with sin.  We are not "buck passers" but ambassadors for Christ who are here to lead others into the truth of God's redemption.  Therefore, we are called to live in direct opposition to the world system all around us.  We are citizens of heaven and are aliens here.  As believers, let us be certain to live in such a way that others will see Jesus Christ living in us.  Let our yes be yes and our no be no as the Lord said.  Then others will want to know why we aren't passing the buck or chasing after all the baubles in this world.  With all this in mind, we have to examine ourselves and ask the question which Moses posed so well, "Who is on the Lord's side?"  If we are, we must live like it every day.  Selah!

No comments: