Liar, Liar – Pants on Fire
A young mother watches from the doorway as her four-year-old son grabs the green plastic truck from his toddling sister, shoves her to the floor and turns away, ignoring the younger child’s red-faced wails of protest. The mother enters the room, picks up the crying child and confronts her son.
“Why did you do that to your sister?”
“She had my truck.”
“I told you before not to be so rough with her, she’s only a baby. Why did you push her down on the floor?”
“I didn’t push her, she fell.”
“You pushed her.”
“No, I didn’t.”
“I saw you push her.”
“Unh-uh, she just fell.”
At this response the boy’s now exasperated mother takes him in hand, and applies appropriate correction.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry!!” he wails through tears.
As his mother leaves the room she turns to see the boy walk to his sister and give her a shove which again sends her sprawling. Looking up, then and catching his mom’s eye he says, “Sissy fell down.”
And there he stands: rebellious . . . unrepentant . . . un-forgiven . . . destined to undergo further discipline. Discipline not only for disobedience, but for a defiant spirit; for an act of unkindness; for pretending a lie is the truth. . . when forgiveness and restoration could be his immediate reward.
Liar, liar, pants on fire, when there could have been hugs and kisses of forgiveness.
There seems to be a pattern in the rebellious human nature of sin and deception. Remember the children of Israel in their escape from Egypt and the flight into the desert, led by Moses?
They were miraculously delivered from Pharaoh’s army through the Red Sea; food and water were provided in the desert, though there was little-to-no natural food or water in that desolate place; shoes and clothing did not wear out during years of desert wandering; God’s very presence continued with them in the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night; they were protected from sickness and disease during their time of wandering as they followed the laws of God.
Though they had every necessary provision at each point of need, they complained against God and against Moses, His servant. Though they had grumbled and complained often, at the first opportunity the community sinned against God and worshipped an idol, descending into debauchery of the worst kind.
As I read the account of what happened in the camp among the people while Moses was on the mountain with God for 40 days and nights, I was amazed that Aaron, Moses’ brother (who was left in charge during Moses’ absence) succumbed to the pressure of the crowds.
When the Israelites complained to Aaron that Moses had deserted them, Aaron took an offering from the people of gold jewelry, melted it down and made an idol in the shape of a calf- which he “fashioned with a tool”. He then said,
“These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt” (Exodus 32:4), announcing a festival “to the Lord” for the next day!
The next day the Israelites sinned before God after offering burnt offerings and fellowship offerings! They entered into sexual orgies and revelry.
God was angry with them and told Moses that they would be destroyed for their sin. Moses pleaded for the lives of the people, reminding God of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and His promise that their descendants would be given the land of promise for their inheritance.
When Moses descended the mountain and saw first-hand the revelry of the Israelites, he broke the two tablets on which God had written the Ten Commandments, tore down the calf- idol and burned it in a fire, pulverized the gold into dust which he scattered on the water and made the people drink it.
Aaron’s explanation of the idol was: “. . . they gave me the gold [jewelry] and I threw it into the fire, and out came that calf!” He never mentioned the fact that he had fashioned the calf with the tool. Liar, liar – pants on fire.
As judgment on the people who participated in the idol worship, Moses commanded the Levites to kill about 3,000 of them that day. The next day the Lord struck the remaining people who had worshipped the idol with a plague.
Perhaps realizing that his compliance with the crowd had resulted in the deaths of so many people was all the punishment that Aaron needed for his sins, but he later was not allowed to enter the Promise Land. Sin has consequences.
However, when the Tabernacle was built in the desert, God instructed that Aaron be consecrated for service at the altar of sacrifice and in the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant rested.
Our God is a forgiving God when we repent of our sins and He longs to restore us to fellowship with Him.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.” 1 John 1:9-10
In the first chapter of Romans we are told that people living a life of sexual sin have,
“exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature, rather than the Creator”
. . . even though God’s handwork gives them all the proof they need that He exists. They lie to themselves and it results in lives of debauchery and licentiousness. Liar, liar, souls on fire.
Prayer: Father, help us, your children, to be able to recognize sin in our lives; to agree with you when you point out our sins to us and to not make you a liar. Help us to put down our pride so that we can confess humbly to you and receive your Spirit’s cleansing now, so that we will not incur your judgment later.
©2012, Marcy Alves