Scripture Read: Exodus 32 - 33
Title: Israel worships a golden calf
(H) Highlight verse: "Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him." Ex. 32:1b
(E) Explain: While Moses is up on Mount Sinai receiving instructions from God the Israelites grew restless and demand that Aaron make an image of the god who delivered them from Egypt. Moses, apparently was gone for a while and probably thought he had either abandoned them or died. Their need for an image of a god drove them to commit one of the greatest sins the nation of Israel has ever seen.
Aaron listened to the people and fashioned a golden calf that was made from gold earrings of the people. Once the golden calf was completed the people worshiped this idol and attributed it as the god who delivered them from Egypt. Aaron also built an altar and proclaimed the next day as a feast to the LORD.
God tells Moses to go down the mountain and because the people have turned to idolatry. God's anger burned hot and He declared that He was going to destroy the Israelite people. Moses interceded for the nation and God relented.
Mose came down the mountain and rebuked the people. He called them to repentance and God punished the people. The following day Moses went back up the mountain to make atonement for the sins of the people.
(A) Application: What is an idol? I believe an idol is anything that is placed in higher reverence that God. This could include money, possessions, relationships, power, religion, sacred relics, etc. Whenever we place anything above God in our lives, that thing becomes an idol. The people of Israel were obviously religious people. They had seen the power of God first-hand. they were recipients of his divine provisions. They were declared to be His people. The problem for them was, they had never seen God and they had the inclination to give God a face and body. In the process they attribute to this idol the power that did not belong to it. They gave their allegiance to an object that had no power and this was idolatry. God is a jealous God. He does not share the spotlight with others. He alone deserves our worship and praise. Let us be careful as to what we allow to have precedence in our lives. Idols are not always as blatant as being a statue or object, often times the idols we have in our lives are more subtle. What idols do you have in your life that you need to deal with?
(R) Respond: Ask God to check your heart today. Have you placed anything or anyone over him in your life? Allow him to examine and convict you as you allow him to search your heart for any idolatrous inclinations
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