THE GOLD CALF
Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for 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.” And Aaron said to them, “Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf. Then they said, “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!” So when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord.” Then they rose early on the next day, offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. (Exodus 32:1-6).
Moses was still on the mountain receiving message from the Lord as we have been discussing in the past few chapters. From Exodus 20 where the Lord spoke to them directly about the ten commandments and they were terrified, and told Moses that whatever he tells them they would do, to the point where they grew weary because Moses was not yet back from the mountain, what went wrong?. Moses was away for 40 days and 40 nights, but Aaron and the other elders were around to keep them in check while Moses was gone. What could be responsible for this weariness that would make them to demand making them gods that shall go before them. To where? Has God not fully demonstrated that there is no other God beside Him. Though they could not see Him physically, but they could hear Him, and they could see the works of His Hands, all the miracles in Egypt, their powerful deliverance from the hand of Pharaoh, and the opening of Red Sea for them to cross over, while their enemies perished at the Red Sea. How can something they made which cannot talk, or think now replace the God of the Universe. This is foolishness of the highest order, but that was what they did. Aaron and the Elders could not think that there is no way that the work of their hand can replace the God of Heaven. Why were they preoccupied with making gods and associating this man-made god to be responsible for their deliverance from Egypt? Though I cannot explain what went wrong or what they were thinking, but I can simply call it the spirit of disobedience that has been in them ever since. It is the spirit that made Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden. It is the spirit that wants to turn us away from the loving God. Satan is the source of this spirit, and he goes to and fro looking for whom to devour. Anyone can be his victim if he is not careful. He can prompt you in any way to disobey God and even while you are doing what is wrong, he can give you reasons to justify yourself so you will not know you are sinning.
1 Peter 5:5-11 says ” Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
In order to prevent us from being a victim in the hand of the devil, we need to submit to one another, and be humble. Do not think highly of yourself, but cast all your burdens upon Him (God), and allow Him to take care of you. When you are humble, you will not be angry when somebody offends you. Anger comes into your life when you think you have been relegated or made irrelevant when in the real sense you think you are somebody. That attitude opens door for Satan to come in and give you more reasons why they are not respecting you. Peter advises us to “not consider ourselves as anything more than we ought to, and be sober, and be vigilant, so that we don’t enter the trap of the adversary, the devil.
If Aaron had stood in his position as the true servant of God, teaching them to have the true knowledge of God, strengthen them with what had happened in the past and give them hope that Moses and himself have been appointed into this position, and that they should wait for his return, the story would have been different Aaron feared the people instead of God and made them sin against God. This sin was the very first commandment that God gave them on the mountain never to make any image before Him. So leaders are supposed to fear God and guide the people until they have fulfilled their purpose in life. May the Lord instill His spirit of Leadership into us so that we will be humble, and be able to guide the people that we oversee in the right direction. May the Lord help us to succeed in our calling in Jesus name. , Amen.