Summary: Idolatry isn't about the idol itself. It's about what's happening inside us.


A. If you spent any time working in offices over the past 10 years – motivational posters

1. The format is pretty typical. Black background – Picture nature – Word –Phrase

2. Purpose was to motivate you –give you something to reach for – push yourself for

3. Didn’t take long before parodies started popping up – favorite “Demotivators”

4. Favorite –a sinking ship in the middle of the ocean – underneath –word “Mistakes”

5. “It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning for others”

B. There are some mistakes –so huge – so colossal – become synonymous –failure

1. Say the name “Titanic” – and the imagery is instantly one of catastrophe

2. Mention the Space Shuttle Challenger – next word in your mind is “disaster”

3. And say “golden calf” – you immediately recognize disobedience – idolatry – sin

C. “Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.”

1. One of those huge mistakes that serve as a warning to others –don’t do what they did

2. Don’t fall into the same trap – don’t worship what they worshipped

3. And I’m sure none of you have a golden calf in your home – but was that really the point?

4. TEXT: EXODUS 32:1-6

D. I want to stop there because that’s where Paul stops in 1 Cor 10:7- doesn’t reference calf

1. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.”

2. For Paul it’s not about the calf-what represented –what happened to the people

3. Today when we talk about idolatry – one of two directions

4. Problem they had back then – worshiped statues/idols –we’re enlightened –know better

5. Two – admit –we have idols –list –possessions/wealth –fancy cars/bass boats

6. Paul reminding us –not about the idol –it’s about us –what’s happening to us

Trans: The example that we have from the golden calf shows us that no matter what our idol is:


A. There’s a great lesson in the Proverbs – hear it quoted every now and then.

1. Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision the people perish” – perish doesn’t mean “die”

2. They cease to be a people – nothing to hold them together – nothing unifying them

3. Verse 25 – broken loose –same phrase as Proverb- “Perish”

4. There was nothing left to bond them together –bring unity/purpose – direction for them

B. When the story begins – Moses is absent –Mt. Sinai for 40 days – seen movie –receiving law

1. But the people had followed Moses out of Egypt – he led them – saw him –saw miracles

2. Now they can’t see him – not sure he’s coming back – they’re getting agitated

3. Go to Aaron – “Make us gods who shall go before us” – something we can see –faith in

4. “Go before us” – something we can follow – give us direction

C. Where there is no vision the people perish – we stop moving forward – no goal – no direction

1. Idols make us idle – they don’t lead us anywhere- if stop moving –no hope

2. That’s why it’s important we know where we’re going – what we’re focused on

3. Why we want you to catch this vision of Gather, Grow, Serve –we can’t stay where we are

4. We have to move ahead – for that we need vision

D. That’s not just for a church though – that’s for you – for your life – for your family

1. I think about Aaron here –gathered gold – “fashioned it with a graving tool” –crafted it

2. Ephesians 2:10 –“we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works”

3. God crafted you together – not as an idol – but as HIS workmanship – HIS image

4. Not to be idle – but to do good works – plans for you – future for you

5. Beautiful thing for us is-we come together –same God –created each of us…

6. We get to share his image – we get to move ahead with his plans.

Trans: Without God we have no future, no vision, no plan. It goes without saying that if we have no future, then:


A. Verse 6b – realize when it says “play” – not hopscotch, right? “indulge in revelry”

1. “Sat down to eat and drink” isn’t a potluck either – this was a drunken pagan orgy

2. Much like what they would have done back in Egypt – exactly like back in Egypt

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