Summary: A look at the people of Isreal, how quickly they forgot what God had done for them.

-hello everyone, it’s been a while.

-anyway, for today, I’m going to do something I did a little of at the end of the school year. I’m going to tell a story. Now, I won’t be doing this again for a while, so enjoy.

-and today’s story is one you’ve probably heard a lot, but not all the way though. It’s one of those stories we’ve taken out all the bad stuff (or good stuff, depending how you look at it) so it’s safe to tell for children. But not today. No, you’re going to hear it all today!

-so our story starts in the desert near a small group of mountains. One of them is called Sinai. If you know your Egyptian geography, it’s this little piece of land that juts down between two big long tributaries from the Red Sea.

-anyway, it has been about two months since the Israelites have been saved from the Egyptians. If you remember the story, Moses comes along and there are ten plagues that God brings on the people; water to blood, frogs, gnats, flies, livestock dying, boils, hail, locusts, darkness and the death of the firstborn, otherwise known as the Passover.

-from that day Moses leads the people into the desert towards the Red Sea. Pharaoh chases them but God protects them by turning into fire and placing Himself between the people of Israel and the Egyptians. Then God parts the Red Sea and the Israelites pass through on dry ground. The Egyptians pursue, waves crash down, all die but Pharaoh. From then on God leads the people by being a pillar of cloud in the day and a pillar of fire at night.

-pretty nice, right. I guess not enough. Three days later walking through the desert the people are complaining they don’t have water. So they find this place with bitter water, God tells Moses to put a stick in the water and it suddenly becomes sweet. Everyone can drink.

-a month later the people complain they don’t have any food. They even say to Moses, “If only God had let us die in Egypt”. Really? So God sends food every single day, but only enough for one day, bread called manna on the ground and quail for meat. But if you take too much it spoils overnight, except for the Sabbath, since no one can work and gather it on the Sabbath the food lasts two days then.

-a few days later, they want water again, and again they blame Moses, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to die in the desert?” So Moses talks with God, God says to hit a rock with his staff, the walking stick he used when the water parted just a few weeks ago, and water comes out of the rock.

- a little while later they come to Mt. Sinai, God’s mountain. God is literally on the mountain. He lives on it, there is always lightening and thunder coming from the top. And every once in a while the cloud comes down, so Moses goes up and he and God talk. It’s here Moses gets instruction for the people on how to live, like the Ten Commandments.

-and this is really where our story starts. Back to what I said before, it’s been about two months. And Moses is going to talk to God. So Moses and Joshua go up the mountain and talk to Him.

-now this takes forty days. That’s a long time, a little over a month. And the people, they saw Moses go up, but he hasn’t come down, neither has Joshua. So they start to jump to conclusions.

-eventually the people go to Aaron, Moses’ brother, and say basically, “Hey, we don’t know what happened to Moses, make us some gods for us to follow.” Aaron tells them to get all the gold they can, to take off their gold earrings and bring them to him.

-the people brought all sorts of gold and Aaron melts it down turning the gold into a huge calf. The people see it and cry out, “Israel, look! It’s the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!”

-Aaron’s a little excited they like it, so he says he will build an altar to it and tomorrow they will have a festival to this calf. So the next day the people come out and they have a party for the new god, the calf. They celebrate by eating, by drinking, and by having sex. They didn’t tell you that in Sunday School, did they?

-so out of the big ten rules of living, they are currently breaking three, no other gods, no idols, no adultery. Up on the mountain God tells Moses everything that’s going on and he has to quickly get back down there. And God tells Moses on his way down that He will destroy the entire nation, all of them, and start over with Moses.

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