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7 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. 8
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.' 9 "I have seen these people," the LORD said to Moses, "and they are a stiff-necked people.
The Golden Calf was not some new invention of the Israelites. During the time of the Exodus, the image of "The Bull" was an object of worship in Egypt. It was also widely worshiped among their neighboring nations in the Ancient Near East.
was on Mount Sinai for forty days and nights. That was long enough
for the people of Israel to jump to the conclusion that something had
happened to him. In his absence, they reverted to pagan idolatry and
turned back to a god-image they had learned in Egypt. Not only did
they make a calf, they celebrated the deity it represented with pagan
practices of ritualistic gluttony and sexual immorality.
whole event is a stark and shocking reminder of just how far the
people of Israel were from understanding or knowing the true God who
had delivered them from slavery. Moses was angry with the people, but
he begged God to forgive them.
Response and Action:
people of Israel were so close to God, and yet so far away from him.
Moses was in the very presence of God on Mt. Sinai, receiving God's
promises and commands, but the people of Israel were distant,
disobedient, and confused in the dark valley of their ignorance. They
needed the commands and guidance God was giving them through Moses.
They needed the truth God was revealing and to turn from their false
ideas about God.
I need to draw near to God. The truth
revealed to me in the Bible will help me to leave the darkness of my
ignorance and help me to recognize the One True God and not confuse
him with my own ideas or the false concepts of God so prevalent in the
world around me.
O God, thank
you for your Holy Word. I have hidden your Word in my heart that I
might not sin against you. Save me from my own ignorance and the
false ideas of the world that surround me. Thank you for Jesus who
has made you known to me. Help me to follow in his way and to build
my life upon the solid ground of his words. Through Christ, I pray.
Spiritual Formation Verses:
13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Breaking the Idols of Your Heart
by Dan Allender and Tremper Longman