Summary: The story of the building of the Golden Calf at Mount Sinai has much to say to the modern day church.
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Pastor James May
CHOOSING YOUR IDOL
Exodus 32:1-6, "And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD. And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play."
Moses is often seen as a type of Christ. God used him to deliver the Children of Israel from the slavery of Egypt, even as Jesus came to deliver his people from the slavery of sin. As we examine the events of this portion of scripture, we must keep this fact in mind and think of the parallels that we see coming to pass in our world.
In a few weeks we will be celebrating Easter, commemorating the death, burial and glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ. A little over 2 millennia has passed since the events of the Crucifixion and we are still waiting for the second coming of Christ to put down evil and establish his righteous kingdom on earth.
When Jesus went away into Heaven and sat down at the right hand of the Father he left us with a great responsibility and a job to do. We are supposed to “occupy until he comes” as stated in Luke 19:13.
Like the Children of Israel, we are headed for a Promised Land flowing with milk and honey. A land where the presence of the Lord will be so powerful and God’s peace and justice will reign.
The problem is that not only do we have the same promise, only on a far greater scale, that Israel had but we have the same trouble with disobedience and idol worship that they had.
And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount...
Moses was gone for a long time. He had been on that fiery mountain for 40 days now. The Israelites below, at the foot of Mount Sinai, were beginning to wonder if he was ever coming back. They had rejected Moses’ leadership on so many occasions even though God had used Moses to perform some mighty miracles and brought them out of bondage with a mighty hand.
The people finally gave up on Moses coming back. They decided that it was time to move on. Never mind that the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night had not moved. They decided that they couldn’t wait any longer so they took matters into their hands.
Isaiah 40:31, "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
Israel wasn’t willing to wait upon the Lord anymore. It was time to go and their patience had run out. They decided to make their own way to the Promised Land and that included making their own God to lead them.