When Moses was coming down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments he had his heart broken by what he saw and heard. He immediately threw down the tablets and they shatter at the foot of the mountain. One of the fascinating insights of this story is the conversation between Moses and Aaron. Moses wanted to know what had the people done to Aaron to cause him to act this way. He blames Aaron for bringing great sin into the camp.
What is fascinating to me is Aaron's response. He said that the people wanted a god to lead them and that they asked him to get them one. Aaron condemns himself by what he says next, "Whoever has gold, let them tear it off." He does not take a stand but encourages them in their rebellion. The people respond and give him the gold and he threw it into the fire. Then Aaron comes up with one of the most ridiculous lies of all time when he say, "out came this calf." It is hard to believe that a rational man could be so irrational at this point. But Aaron is trying hard to protect himself from Moses. Aaron is a man who is afraid of others.
How was the calf made? Exodus 32:4 says, "He took this from their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool and made it into a molten calf; and they said, "This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.""
Moses records that at the time of this incident, the people were out of control. Why were they out of control? They were out of control because Aaron did not take a stand when it was needed. Truth suffers when we cannot stand truthfully at critical moments in life. When fear dictates our response, truth suffers and the community will move in rebellion against the Lord.
The church will be the salt and the light in the community when we learn to be truthful in all aspects of our life. Paul said to the church at Ephesus, "Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are cmembers of one another.