Summary: Sermon on the golden calf episode in Exodus.
Text: Exodus 32:1-14
Lightning and thunder are roaring at the top of the mountain. Smoke is billowing all around as if the whole mountain side were on fire! Moses was meeting with God there. The people dare not go to where Moses was for fear that God himself would break out against them! It was an amazing sight to see! Moses has just heard God give what later came to be known as the Commandments.
Recite the 10 commandments:
And God spoke all these words:
2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3 “You shall have no other gods beforea me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.
7 “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God,
8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 “You shall not covet
18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”
20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”
21 The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.
The people remained at a distance, interesting isn’t it? God himself was in their midst and his Holy, awesome presence was so overwhelming the Israelites say “Do not have God speak to us or we will die! They believe this is God! They are sure of it in fact. They have seen signs of HIM all along this journey… Blood, Frogs, Gnats, Flies, Livestock, Boils, Hail, Locust, Darkness, and the plague of the first born…the parting of the Red Sea, The manna, the quail….Yes these people believed that Moses indeed was working with God to raise up a Holy people. They were the people God had chosen! How did they feel about this? What was their reaction? We read the words clearly here in Exodus 20:21 The people remained at a distance. Yyyyyyooooouuuu go ahead Moses… We’ll be right here when you get back and we will learn from you but keep God! WWWWWOOOO Keep him there with you. Don’t you bring him down that mountain! If you bring him down that mountain things will not be as they are now. Things will change!
Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” I can imagine the conversation. OK Moses we believe you! But like we said IF you bring him down that mountain things will not be as they are now. Things will change!
This morning I am sharing three requirements the Hebrews place on God.
#1 The Hebrews Required God to be…
Painless …and God is Piercing.
The Israelites were given the opportunity of a lifetime here. “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” This is not only an opportunity to submit to 10 rules by this YAHWEH God… This is an opportunity to live life to its fullest. This is an invitation to peace. All their lives they have lived in turmoil, all their lives they were being held back from true freedom and YAHWEH was offering them lasting peace. You see these 10 “Rules” would order their lives around God’s purposes, these 10 rules led them to begin to feel the weight of sin removed from their lives, these 10 “rules” SET THESE PEOPLE apart from all others because they LOVED GOD AND EACH OTHER MORE THAN THEY LOVED THEMSELVES! The Israelites required God to be painless so up on the mountain he stayed. His presence remained away from were they lived their lives. Instead the Israelites settled for Moses as a go between. These standards God had laid out were new, they were tough, yes even painful. All change is painful. God pierced their hearts. Stay up on that mountain God!
Exodus 24:3 says “Everything the LORD has said we will do”