Series: Cow Tipping
Thesis: Cow tipping has to do with tipping over and destroying idols in our life that usurp God. They come in many forms and shapes.
They myth of cow tipping: Wiki notes: Cow tipping is the purported activity of sneaking up on any unsuspecting or sleeping upright cow and pushing it over for entertainment. The practice of cow tipping is generally considered an urban legend, and stories of such feats viewed as tall tales.
My own cow tipping experience at the Converse farm.
But as we talk about Cow Tipping over the next month the point is to identify any idols we may have created in our life that are hindering our relationship with the Lord and that need to be tipped over and destroyed.
Prayer: I pray God would show you what is hindering your relationship with Him – prayer!
Video Clip: From 10 Commandments Moses and the Golden Calf
Scripture Text: Title: The Holy Bible, New International Version - Exodus 32
When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”
Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.”
So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron.
He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”
When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the LORD.”
So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt.
They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’
“I have seen these people,” the LORD said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people.
Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.”
But Moses sought the favor of the LORD his God. “O LORD,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand?
Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people.
Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’”
Then the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.
Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back.
The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.
When Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, “There is the sound of war in the camp.”
“It is not the sound of victory,
it is not the sound of defeat;
it is the sound of singing that I hear.”
When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain.
And he took the calf they had made and burned it in the fire; then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it.
He said to Aaron, “What did these people do to you, that you led them into such great sin?”
“Do not be angry, my lord,” Aaron answered. “You know how prone these people are to evil.
They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.’
So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’ Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!”
Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies.
So he stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the LORD, come to me.” And all the Levites rallied to him.
Then he said to them, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’”
The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died.
Then Moses said, “You have been set apart to the LORD today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day.”
The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. But now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.”
So Moses went back to the LORD and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold.
But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.”
The LORD replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book.
Now go, lead the people to the place I spoke of, and my angel will go before you. However, when the time comes for me to punish, I will punish them for their sin.”
And the LORD struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made.
Sermon 1: The Golden Cow of Finances/Wealth/Prosperity at any cost
Thesis: Golden cows come in many forms such as dollar signs, bulls, cars, houses and other materialistic items. But for Christians we need to make sure that if we have not formed a golden cow in our life out of gold, silver, money and or wealth if we discover we have done this then we need to tip it over and destroy it before it destroys us.
Matthew 6:24: “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money…”
The Bull of Wallstreet:
The 7,100-pound (3,200 kg) sculpture stands 11 feet (3.4 m) tall and measures 16 feet (4.9 m) long. The oversize sculpture depicts a bull, the symbol of aggressive financial optimism and prosperity, leaning back on its haunches and with its head lowered as if ready to charge. The sculpture is both a popular tourist destination which draws thousands of people a day, as well as "one of the most iconic images of New York" and a "Wall Street icon" symbolizing Wall Street and the Financial District.
In Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan: A Historical Guide, Dianne Durante describes the sculpture:
The Bull's head is lowered, its nostrils flare, and its wickedly long, sharp horns are ready to gore; it's an angry, dangerous beast. The muscular body twists to one side, and the tail is curved like a lash: the Bull is also energetic and in motion. 
The bronze color and hard, metallic texture of the sculpture's surface emphasises the brute force of the creature. The work was designed and placed so that viewers could walk around it, which also suggests the creature's own movement is unrestricted — a point reinforced by the twisting posture of the bull's body, according to Durante.
Charging Bull, then, shows an aggressive or even belligerent force on the move, but unpredictably. [...] [I]t's not far-fetched to say the theme is the energy, strength, and unpredictability of the stock market."
Di Modica told the New York Daily News in 1998:
That bull is one of an edition of five. … I'm hoping the other four will be going to cities all over the world, whenever somebody buys them.
In 2010, a similar Charging Bull sculpted by Di Modica was installed in Shanghai; it is informally also called the Bund Bull. In 2012, another one was placed on Het Beursplein in Amsterdam.
Illustration: Abraham's Object of Worship
The Jews have a legend that when Abraham started on his journeys, he saw the stars in the heavens and said, "I will worship the stars." But ere long the stars set. Then Abraham saw the constellations -- the Pleiades and the rest of them -- and he said, "I will worship the constellations." But the constellations also set. Then Abraham saw the moon sailing high in the heavens and he said, "I will worship the moon." But the moon also vanished when her season was over.
Then Abraham saw the sun in all his majesty, coming out of his chamber like a bridegroom and rejoicing as a strong man to run a race. But when the day was spent, he saw the sun sink on the western horizon. Stars, constellations, moon, and sun -- all were unworthy of his worship, for all had set and all had disappeared. Then Abraham said, "I will worship God, for He abides forever."
John White states, "Faith in the invisible God can be demonstrated by power over material things, either power to manipulate them or power to escape enslavement to them. If someone's life is controlled by material things, it is possible that such a person knows nothing of saving faith.
Golden Cows have been erected and are dominating as the gods of today. They have gained control of many Christians and many churches. God is very concerned about this man-made god society we live in because it has affected our relationship with Him.
Dr Maynard Pittendreigh observes that today many people view the 10 Commandments like some of the out of date laws of the past. He states:
Some time ago, there was an article in the newspaper listing several strange laws that had been written years ago, that meant nothing today, but were still on the books. There was, for example, the South Carolina state law that required, and still requires, adult men to carry swords to church. Anyone caught in church without a sword was subject to being fined…. Another law in Vermont required a driver of an automobile to stop at every intersection, turn off his car, get out and look to see if there were any horse back riders, then push the car across the road, get in, start it, and drive off until he reached the next intersection he would have to go through the entire process all over again.
In all probability, these archaic laws had some legitimate reasons for their adoption, but the reason no longer exists, so fo us, they seem ridiculous.
Take for example the New York law that was adopted in 1918, and that is still on the books. It makes it illegal for anyone to sneeze in public. That sounds silly until one realizes that in 1918, the entire world was in the grip of a flu epidemic, in the end, it claimed more lives than all the battles fought in the first World War….
There are countless other laws that may have sounded logical at one time, but now have lost their meaning and relevancy.
Many of us might be inclined to list the second commandment among those irrelevant laws. It forbids the making and worshipping of idols” (page 2, from Sermon - Recreating God in Our own image, Sermon Central).
The sad fact is many calling themselves Christian have rationalized that the 10 Commandments are out of date laws for today. They really believe that God does not mind if they don’t follow the 10 Commandments. He understands how these laws don’t apply today to our society and culture.
John White states, "The 20th Century church has forgotten which master she belongs to, painting herself like a hussy in her silly pursuit of Lord Mammon. Or to use another image, a church has gone a- (lusting) after a golden cow."
There are many Christians today who have become like sponges soaked to the max with the value system of this god-making society. They are really no different than the Israelites lead out of the bondage of Egypt to Mt. Sinai by Moses. Lets explore what happened there.
I THE GOLDEN CALF, A MAN-MADE GOD (Exodus 32: 1-35)
A. Exegetical Study of the Text
Verse 1: The people in the wilderness could not wait for Moses to return. They had no patience. They wanted a god now, so they formed their own.
• This is why God gave the first four commandments in Exodus 20:
o Verse 3 – “You shall have no other gods before me.”
o Verse 4,5,6 – “You shall not make for yourself and idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; I the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me but showing love to a thousand of those who love me and keep my commandments.
o Verse 7 – “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.’
o Verse 8,9,10 - “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, not your son or daughter…”
• God’s first 4 Commandments where given to direct us into a closer relationship with him. He instructed us on how to get to know him better. He wants us to do it right-he still wants us to do it right today! He has not changed his mind!
But people today just like then have no patience for God. They demand immediate responses. If they are not served in a minute, then they deny Him and make their own gods.
They fashion their gods out of material possessions, earthly possessions, or even other people.
They form it by their own hands and use earthly items to do it. (Ex. 32:2-4)
Verse 2-4: Once they are formed they then believe that these man-made gods are what saved them in their life.
They state: These are the gods that gave me a good life on earth. It is these gods that have delivered me through life.
* They make statements like, “All I need is more money and I will be happy!” “If I could make another 10,000 a year I would be blessed.” “If I could have A BIGGER HOUSE then I would have found fulfillment in life.” “If I could buy another car then I would have the good life.”
Verse 5&6: So then they begin to worship them. They offer sacrifices to these man-made gods.
They offer their time
They offer up a relationship with Him
They offer up their purity
They offer up their families
They offer their money
They offer their life
They offer their spouses
They offer their kids
They offer their resources
They present themselves as living sacrifices
Verse 7-10: God is not blind to this idol worship. He sees and He still becomes angry.
• Why do you think God addresses idol worship to Moses on the mountain?
• God still sees what is going on today! Don’t be fooled into thinking he does not!
God hates idolaters, "God Makers"
God detests those who give glory to their man-made gods.
God hates traitors
God will not tolerate this evil.
His Word promises to deal with those who make golden cows and worship them.
Verses 11-14: The Power of Prayer. If Moses had not interceded for the Israelites, they would have been destroyed.
God grieves over sin: Genesis 6:6: The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
Psalm 78:40: How often they rebelled against Him in the wilderness And grieved Him in the desert!
Intercession is a powerful force to give salvation to those who need it.
We today need to have intercessors step forward and intervene for our nation, our church and our lives.
We need to recognize that this force can save the church of today from worshiping idols.
But we need people to pray and intercede for the church and the body of Christ. There are so many golden cows out there today:
10. Other people – like Elvis!
11. Other myths of god’s
12. Self – Yes people make themselves out to be golden cows – they formulate a statue of themselves and worship it.
Hands on Illustration: Pass around the cow and have others write on it other idols of today that they can think of!
Verse 15-18: The Word of God is revealed and judgment is coming.
The Word judges by truth.
Joshua thought war. In a sense it is a war against God
Revelry – Is a party hearty mindset with no regard for God and it is the sound of defeat. Parties full of immorality, drug and alcohol abuse are the sound of defeat not victory.
****Note statistics for today --- .
Verse 19: Moses saw the golden cow. It was created and fashioned by men and made of earthly material.
When a man of God sees men/women who are suppose to be following the Lord and sees that they have formed their own god it is the responsibility of this man to toss God's word at its base and destroy it.
• Yet the first phrase most people use to justify them not being held accountable about their golden cows is you are not allowed to judge me. I respond that is correct when comes to things not clearly defined in Scripture but when it comes to what is blatantly called sin by God then “I am required by God to do my job and call it sin.”
• When you see sin does it make you upset? Or does it look appealing to you?
Verse 20: Every man-made idol (god) will be cast into the fire.
Cadillac’s, farms, drugs, alcohol, money, jobs, self made images, materialistic items and the like will pass away in the cleansing fire of God.
Verse 21: All priests of God who have let men create their own gods will be asked by God why they did this.
Aaron uses the excuse that the people were prone to evil. They will place the blame on the outside force (the pressure of the world) into making this god. They will make excuses for themselves and their families why they gave in to the world.
God will still call it sin. We will answer to him for our choices. We will not be able to justify to him why it’s okay to worship golden cows.
God will hold us accountable for our actions- It’s a promise!
Verse 25-26: God will always give people a chance to repent and choose Him or evil.
God is giving us a choice today. He is saying, "Whoever is for me, come to me."
The question is, are you for God or for man-made gods?
Verse 27-29: Judgment came to those who rebelled and it will come on those who today choose evil.
Verse 30-35: After the first judgment for rebellion was carried out the man of God went back to intercede for the people.
But God had to judge sin – It’s the right thing to do!
He sent an angel to lead the people but promised a judgment for their sin. (Verse 35). It came to them. God will also judge you one day it’s coming sooner than you think.
Man-made gods grieve God because when the Jews did this sin, they forgot who they were. They neglected to remember from whence they came and to whom they belonged. It follows that whenever we forget the same thing and form our own man-made gods, we are on the brink of destruction.
John White states, "The misery of a Christian torn between heaven and material idols can be pitiful. Our goal in life will determine our view of life."
The monkey trap
Anything that you have to control, controls you.
There are many variations to this story, but it’s quite instructive. In South America, Africa and Asia, the natives have devised a very effective method of trapping monkeys. The plan is deceptively simple: the natives take a gourd or some similar object and drill a hole just large enough for a monkey’s hand to pass through; they add some extra weight to the gourd with sand or pebbles, then put a nut or some fruit inside and place the gourd where a monkey will find it.
Here’s what happens: the monkey sticks his hand through the hole to get the food — but with the prize in its grasp, the monkey cannot get its hand back out. The hole is too small for the monkey’s hand to pass through so long as it’s holding the treat, and the gourd is too heavy for the creature to carry. Because the monkey will not let go of its prize, it becomes trapped. The animal gives up its freedom to hold on to a small piece of food.
It seems obvious that all the monkey needs to do is let go of the bait and it can escape. But because it views the treat as its possession and is not willing to let go, the monkey is trapped. It loses its freedom.
It’s easy for us to see how foolish it is to keep holding something that really isn’t worth much. The monkey is making a very poor trade-off: his freedom for a prize that wouldn’t be that difficult to find in a less threatening location. But the animal is blinded by its attachment to the treat.
The monkey is acting out of instinct; it probably doesn’t have the ability to recognize the danger of grasping the bait — or the fact that such behavior will have a dramatic impact on its future. But humans should be able to avoid falling into such a trap. We should be able to understand the danger of holding on to things that don’t serve us well. We should realize when we’re creating traps for ourselves.
Unfortunately, most of the traps in life are those we create for ourselves. We hold on for dear life to things that don’t serve us well. We hold on to past mistakes; we cling to the privilege of being right; we won’t let go of anger and resentment; we become attached to material things that are of little value; and we often put our attachment to possessions ahead of our own well-being.
If you’re going to find happiness in life, you need to examine what you hold. Take a close look at the attachments in your life. Do you place more importance on things outside of yourself than on things inside you? The more important something is in your life, the more you become attached to it. If what you treasure is outside yourself — that is, other things or other people — then you risk being trapped by those bonds.
You have the ability to choose your treasures in life. You need to examine your life to determine if you’re being trapped by the things you treasure.
If we’re attached to things, we are restricted. Only by letting go can we be free.
There was a study done where there was a monkey with his fist trapped inside a container. The monkey had reached in the container and grabbed a handful of peanuts. The monkey upon clutching a fistful of peanuts trapped himself because he could not pull his hand out. Therefore he was unable to get free. Yet he could have let the peanuts go but he would not. The monkey wants freedom and peanuts, and he cannot have both. He must leave the peanuts if he wants to get away. As a matter of fact, he will lose both peanuts and freedom if he hangs on too long.
And we are caught in a similar bind. We long to be free of earthly entanglements to serve God in the Spirit. Yet we cling to something more elusive than peanuts. We may only want enough. But without realizing it, we redefine enough again and again with the passage of time. Others of us want to have as much as we can get. So we trap ourselves because we will not let go of the man-made god which has trapped us. Therefore, we lose our freedom and end up in bondage. (John White pg. 48)
Altar Call: God is calling us today. He is saying, "Whoever is for me, come to me!"
Communion set up! Lead into it!
The key to overcoming man-made gods is to take more time to devote yourself to meet with Him, like in communion, by worshipping Him, by spending time with Him, by learning about Him, serving Him, and trust me this will give you less time to fall into the worship of man-made gods.