Posted by: wwyeshua | June 17, 2018

THE GOLDEN CALF – Exodus 32 – 34

Now while Moses was on the mountain before coming down with the 10 commandments God had given him the people down below quickly forgot what they had promised. Just a few days after they had heard the mighty voice of God and seen His glory and power, they turned again to their wicked and deceitful ways. 

Hearing the law from almighty God did not change these people. They were still sinful and rebellious. The purpose of the commandments was to show the people God’s holiness and how to live right. The law itself could not change their hearts.


Now as Moses was on Mount Sinai for 40 days and nights and the people below wondered if he would ever come back.

They came to Aaron and demanded, ‘We don’t know what has happened to Moses. Let us make gods to lead us.


Aaron told them to take off the gold earrings and jewelry the women and children were wearing and give them to him so they could be melted down to make an idol.


The gold was melted down and shaped into a golden calf. 

The people responded by declaring, ‘These are our gods who brought us out of Egypt.’


Aaron saw all this, and he built an altar before the calf. Then he made an announcement. He said, “Tomorrow there will be a special feast to honor the Lord.”  


Early the next day, people sacrificed burnt offerings, ate, drank and started making a lot of noise while dancing and worshipping the golden calf.


Meanwhile, Moses, who was still high on Mount Sinai, was instructed by God. ‘Go down immediately. The people I brought out of the land of Egypt have done a terrible sin.’ 

 ‘They have quickly turned away from the things I commanded them to do. They have made for themselves a calf of melted gold. They have worshiped that calf and offered sacrifices to it. The people have said, ‘Israel, these are your gods who brought you out of Egypt.’” 

God was so upset by their disobedience he told Moses He wanted to destroy them.


But Moses begged the Lord his God. Moses said, “Lord, don’t let your anger destroy your people. You brought these people out of Egypt with your great power and strength. Don’t let the people of Egypt say, ‘The Lord brought the Israelites out of Egypt. But he planned to kill them in the mountains and destroy them from the earth.’ So stop being angry. Don’t destroy your people.


Then Moses went down the mountain. In his hands he had the two stone tablets with the commandments on them. The commands were written on both sides of each stone, front and back. God himself had made the stones. And God himself had written the commands on the stones.


Halfway down Moses met Joshua who had been waiting for him. ‘It sounds like there is a war in the camp,’ said Joshua. ‘It is not the sound of victory or defeat,’ replied Moses. ‘It is the sound of singing.’


When Moses came close to the camp, he saw the gold calf and the dancing. He became very angry.

He threw down the stone tablets which he was carrying. He broke them at the bottom of the mountain.


Then Moses took the calf the people had made and burned it in the fire. Then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it.


Moses turned on Aaron. ’What did these people do to you, that you led them into such great disobedience?’ ‘When they saw you were gone a long time they wanted gods to lead them,’ protested Aaron. ‘I put gold in the fire and out came this calf.’

  • As we see Aaron and the people had already broken the 1st commandment, which they had so recently received that says: You must not have any other gods except me.
  • And now Aaron was breaking the 9th commandment which says don’t lie.


Moses stood at the entrance to the camp and said, ‘Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.’


And all the people from the family of Levi gathered around Moses. Moses told them to get their swords and carry out God’s punishment on those who had disobeyed Him.


After this, Moses called the rest of the people together and told them. ‘You have committed a great sin, but I will go up and talk with God.’


Moses climbed back up the mountain to ask God to forgive His people for their disobedience. 

God told Moses that those who had worshipped the golden calf would be punished with a plague but the rest would be led on to the land God had promised to give them.


The Lord said to Moses, “Cut two more stone tablets like the first two. I will write the same words on them that were on the first two stones which you broke. Be ready tomorrow morning. Then come up on Mount Sinai. Stand before me there on the top of the mountain. No one may come with you. No one should even be seen any place on the mountain. Not even the sheep or cattle may eat grass near that mountain.”


So Moses cut two stone tablets like the first ones. Then early the next morning he went up Mount Sinai. He did this just as the Lord had commanded him. Moses carried the two stone tablets with him. Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with Moses.

When we read the 10 commandments, we realize how holy God is and how sinful we are. To be forgiven we must turn in faith to his son Jesus, who paid the penalty for our breaking of the law, just as the Israelites did. The Bible says that ‘the commandment is like a school teacher to bring us to Christ that we through faith might be made right with God’. Galatians 3:24 

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Goodbye, until next time. Until then, remember to say your prayers, obey your mom and dad and do not forget to go to church and Sunday school next week.

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