Summary: Were it not for the intercession of Moses, the Israelites would have been destroyed. This message shows us that only God is to be worshiped. It also teaches us the value of intercessory prayer.

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Exodus 32:1-14

INTRODUCTION: All that glitters is not gold. While Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments, something dreadfully wrong was happening below among Aaron and the Israelites. They had fashioned a golden calf to be an object of worship. Were it not for the intercession of Moses, God would have destroyed every last one of them. From this account, God desires to teach us that He and He alone is worthy of worship, and also the value of intercessory prayer.


1. “When the people saw”—the decision of God’s people to act apart from following God’s will was based upon what they could “see” (v. 1).

a. Moses was in the presence of the One true God.

b. God was in the process of revealing His divine plan for His people for the ages.

c. What could be more important than waiting until they heard from God?

ILLUSTRATE: Abraham and Sarah mistakenly thought that God had forgotten His promise to give them a son—or perhaps had simply waited too long. They took matters into their own hands, and today the world is still paying the price for their folly. Genesis 16:1-12 Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. . . And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. And he said, Hagar, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.

2. The people told Aaron to make them “gods which shall go before us.”

3. After all the mighty works they had seen God do, they still had not learned the lesson, that it was God leading them and not Moses (v. 1). Just look at what they saw God do:

a. Crossing the Red Sea

b. Bitter waters made sweet

c. Manna supplied

d. Quail supplied

e. Water from the rock in Rephidim

f. Defeat of Amalek

4. They gave their gold earrings to Aaron to make the calf idol (v. 2,3). If there was an offering to give, it should have been given to the true God.

5. Yet, up until this point God had not required an offering from them. Sadly, they were willing to give to a false god, but wouldn’t give the offering of obedience to the One True God.

6. How often do God’s people today give of their time, effort, loyalty, and substance to the things of pleasure and interest to us, only to have nothing left for God?

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