Summary: Life will either hammer the difficulties out of us or it will be molded into a masterpiece.
Exodus 32:1_4 – “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.”
Numbers 8:1_4 – “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,” “Speak unto Aaron, and say unto him, When thou lightest the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light over against the candlestick.” “And Aaron did so; he lighted the lamps thereof over against the candlestick, as the LORD commanded Moses.” “And this work of the candlestick was of beaten gold, unto the shaft thereof, unto the flowers thereof, was beaten work: according unto the pattern which the LORD had shewed Moses, so he made the candlestick.”
l. INTRODUCTION – THE GOLDEN CALF
-Time has passed, the children of Israel have moved out of the land of captivity and now are a free people. No more do they have to deal with the torn gashes in their backs from the whips of the taskmasters. No longer are they having to depend on the Egyptians to give them their food. No longer do they feel the constant tension and fear that is associated with captivity.
-They have seen a mighty God in action . He led them out of Egypt after the Passover. He calmed their fears at the Red Sea by allowing the waters to drown Pharaoh and his armies. Some three months have passed in their lives and they are now in the area of Mt. Sinai. It is here that God will call Moses to the mountain top for a transition in how He wants Israel to follow Him.
A. Biblical Mountain Tops
-Biblically there have always been those mountain tops that brought some symbolism to our walk with God. Holy men of old knew the significance of a constant walk and climb with the Lord.
• Ararat – The mountain of new beginnings. First sacrifice offered here. (Gen. 8:4; Romans 12:1-2)
• Moriah – The mountain of testing, the victory of faith where Jehovah-Jireh supplies every need. (Gen. 22:2-14; 1 Peter 4:12-14; Php. 4:19)
• Gilead – The mountain of disunity, anger, and grudge between brothers. (Gen. 31:25, 42-52)
• Seir – The mountain of opposition. Of an unforgiving spirit (Gen. 36:8-9; Num. 20:14-21) Esau and his descendants never forgave Jacob for inheriting the birthright.
• Gerizim – The mountain of blessing for obedience (Deut. 11:29; 27:12; Eph. 1:3)
-There are many others that one could mention. But the trend appears from these that when we reach mountains in our spiritual experience, the proper adjustments need to be made.
-Could today have been a mountain top experience for you where that you must make the right spiritual adjustments to continue your walk with the Lord?
B. Moses Goes to the Mountain – Exodus 19
-It is from Exodus 19, that we find that Moses goes up into the mountain. Thunder and lightning, thick clouds and a voice that was as loud as a great trumpet were all present with his journey. The ground trembled and shook. It was the beginning of the time that God would spend give Moses the intricate details of the Law.
Exodus 32:1 – “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.”
-The whole meaning of idolatry is not spiritual ignorance but a willful turning away from the spiritual knowledge and worship of God. The people begin to question all sorts of things.