Have you ever danced with a cow? Well, it’s probably not the safest or smartest thing to do. And even if the cow is made of gold, that really doesn’t make it much better. States Tune to see what we mean.
Okay, the Israelites have been camped for many months at the base of Mount Sinai, where Moses taught them about God and his laws. Each person individually covenanted to follow God and be obedient to him. Then God called about 70 of the elders of Israel to go off the mountain where they saw and witnessed Jehovah, the God of Israel rejoicing. Because of this great miracle, they hurried back down the mountain, only for the Lord to call Moses to return to the top alone. For the next 40 days and 40 nights, Moses communed with God and was given tablets of stone with written laws and Commandments.
Now, unfortunately, 40 days to the Israelites must have felt like an eternity, and many lost faith, apparently thinking Moses was dead, leaving them to die alone in the wilderness.
So, sadly, they break their newly made Covenant and quickly crafts a golden calf to worship. What? Well, it seems it was easier to get the people out of Egypt than it was to get Egypt out of the people, because without their leader right there, they quickly returned to making idols like they’d seen in Egypt. Okay, so maybe it was their attempt to commune with God themselves, but they just promised, like a minute ago, to have no other gods nor bow down to idols. Not good.
They sure broke those two first Commandments fast.
Then, right in the middle of all this revelry, Moses bounds down the mountain, totally pumped from his amazing meeting with God, and stops in his tracks as he sees everyone dancing around a cow. He’s so upset that he breaks the newly minted tablets God just gave him. Clearly, they are not ready for the higher law, but let’s be honest, they just barely gained freedom from slavery. Moses then intercedes and pleads for God’s mercy not to destroy them. And so he returns up the mountain for another 40 days, and the Lord engraved a new set of Ten Commandments onto two stones, then instructs Moses about a basic law full of preparatory principles and Commandments known as the Mosaic Law.
Now, this atonement by Moses for the Israelites has been celebrated annually ever since as Yom Kippur, or Day of Atonement. But is dancing with cows such a terrible thing? No, but worshiping idols is against God’s commandment. Now, most likely we aren’t guilty of bowing down and worshiping objects in our home, right? Well, idols can creep into our hearts and SAP our spiritual strength.
They divert us from the path and become precious to us. And when those idols are threatened, it leads to fear and anger and darkness. But idols and distractions are everywhere, so we should often look ourselves in the mirror, literally or figuratively, and ask is something taking me away from God? And if so, we should make some course corrections to keep loving God with our whole hearts, minds and souls. Now we know one way to have no other gods or idols Is to obey the law of the Sabbath when we can rest and be refreshed.
Don’t you just love that word refreshed? Observing the Sabbath day properly and leaving worldly cares behind to focus on the Lord Can absolutely be a day of refreshment. Our Prophet explained that learning the proper conduct and attitudes for Sabbath observance Constitute a sign between us and the Lord. Then we don’t need to worry about lists of do’s and don’ts and instead can simply ask ourselves, what sign do I want to give to God? One way for us to make this habit day holier Is by choosing our attitude towards attending Church.
For example, which attitude glasses do we tend to wear to Church? Do we choose the glasses of judgment? Looking around to see what everyone else is doing wrong? Judging the less than amazing talks, the poor lessons, the inexperienced piano player or the poor mother Trying her best to wrangle three wiggly kids While still finding purpose in attending? Do we wear the glasses of shame and embarrassment?
Trying to hide Because we don’t feel like we belong or fit the perfect mold and forget that we’re each a child of God and can never sink lower than his love? Or do we wear the glasses of service Doing all we can to help everyone else feel included and loved? What about the glasses of apathy, selfishness, anxiety or boredom which we can easily slip on if we happen to just focus on ourselves? What if instead the way we choose to dress, talk, sing and listen Is all done with the purpose of showing the Savior how much we love and respect him? How much more joy and refreshment could we then experience each Sabbath day?
Kind of cool that even though the ten Commandments Were given thousands of years ago, they still point the way to happiness and eternal life? Next week we’ll go on a sacred journey from the world to the house of God.
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