The Delay

For 40 days Moses is on Mount Sinai receiving direction and instructions from God. In his absence the Children of Israel grow impatient, there has been no news from their leader and so Exodus 32:1 states, “Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”
It is interesting that “when the people saw that Moses delayed”, then they constructed an image to worship as god. It was not God who delayed returning, but Moses who delayed. There was a direct correlation between the actions of the leader and the impatience of the people, and a god being created. One might ask, what did delaying of the leader have to do with making an image of a god? Usually when a leader isn’t around, if he fails to meet the obligation of being a leader, or fails to fulfill the expectations of the people, then the people appoint a different leader, but in this situation they appointed a different god.
God does say to Moses in Exodus 4:16 that Aaron would work together with Moses, but specifically that Moses would be like a representative of God to Aaron and Exodus 7:1 says that God had made Moses to be so influential in the eyes of Pharaoh that Moses was like a god in the eyes of Pharaoh. There is something about good leadership that can help people rightly see God and in the same way bad leadership can distort the image that people have of God. That is why whenever there was poor leadership in the Old Testament, the people tended to be distant from God and would have no strong spiritual desires. Poor leadership can also cause frustrations to grow within the people as the people feel that they are not being cared for by the leaders, but as well because it seems like God also does not care for them in their situations.
It is no wonder that we are exhorted to pray for those in authority that we might live quiet and peaceful lives with godliness and reverence, (1 Tim 2:1,2). Take some extra time to pray that God would direct and work through the leadership that is around you.