We have many golden calves today, don’t we… we as a people are no different now then those who were led out of Egypt; who when waiting for Moses to return they fashioned an idol–a golden calf to take his place. The only difference is today we are not waiting for Moses to return from the Mountain but for our Savior, Christ Jesus, to return to earth.
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.” Exodus 32:1
These things, as Paul wrote, were written down for our admonition:
Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 1 Corinthians 10:11-12
That is a warning for us today: one which should keep us from falling into the same trap, of falsely believing that just because our Lord has tarried that He is not returning soon.
This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 2 Peter 3:1-4
There was a price required to be paid by these people who sinned in the wilderness, by those who did not wait patiently for Moses’ return but instead turned instead to something made by their own hands, and fell down and worshiped it.
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. Exodus 32
Many died right away, while others received a plague upon themselves. But the most frightening result was that because they sinned against God their names were blotted out of God’s book. (verse 33)
Did you also notice verse 25: “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”
God does not appear to take it lightly when the actions of some of His people cause those who are enemies to laugh and mock.
I’m just musing this afternoon…