Israel and The Golden Calf in Exodus – Replacing God

Golden calf in ExodusIn Exodus 32:1, Moses climbed the mountain and God is gave him His ten commandments for the people. While he was away, Israel reverted to worshiping a golden calf which Aaron made. See the pattern?

How soon they forgot about God!

Today’s lesson for study comes from Exodus 32:1-4. It tells about the golden calf and how quickly a nation can fall away from God. If you saw the movie; “The Ten Commandments” you most likely remember the making of the golden calf.

Taking into consideration that these people were not mature in their belief, Israel fell right back into the act of worshiping idols when Moses is slow to return from the mountain.

Do we sometimes replace God with other things?

Aaron Makes a Golden Calf Idol to Replace God

“Now when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron and said to him, “Come, make us a god who will go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”

Aaron said to them, “Tear off the gold rings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.”

Then all the people tore off the gold rings which were in their ears and brought them to Aaron.

He took this from their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool and made it into a molten calf; and they said, “This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.” – Exodus 32:1-4 NASB

Israel and Idols

If you have been following the lessons in Exodus, the pattern continues with the people having little faith.

The surprising part lies with Aaron, who had seen firsthand the power of God in Egypt.

The people of Israel witnessed the burning pillar which led them. And, they experienced the parting of the waters along with the destruction of the most powerful army in the world (Egypt).

And yet, in no time at all built a new idol (the golden calf). It was made specifically to replace God as soon as the novelty wore thin.

Something Familiar to Hold On To

In the absence of Moses, the people of Israel wanted to hold on to the familiar and comfortable life.

They wanted something they could see and touch instead of the God no one had seen except Moses.

Are We Similar to Ancient Israel?

How many times do we try to make God into something we want instead of trusting who He really is?

When we do this, we can either follow His lead or not – free choice. In other words, we put ourselves and things above God. So, let’s not be too anxious to judge the Israelites for their disobedience.

Golden calf in ExodusGolden calf in Exodus

When We Replace God

As we turn to other “gods” in our lives, it’s difficult for God to work within us – giving us the direction and blessings He has in store.

The lesson for today is to think about letting God back into our lives and not be ruled by “idols“.

Love in Christ

– Bob

If you would like to learn more about the love and life-changing experience of Christ, please take a moment to read John 3:16.