Exodus 32: 1-6
The Golden Calf
32 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[a] 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.”
2 Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods,[b] Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”
5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” 6 So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.
Devotion by Laurie Spencer
Why would people do such a thing? Turn their backs on their leader, Moses, and give their precious items to Aaron, and worship a golden calf? Well there was a lot of complaining among the Israelites, a lot of thirst and hunger. When Moses went off to get the 10 Commandments and didn’t return…. well, let’s put ourselves in their shoes for a minute….
You are fed up and ready to rely on anything that will finally give your family security, food, and water. And that takes sacrifice. So go into your jewelry drawer. Pick out some gold earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. Where did they come from? Passed down through the generations from treasured family? Maybe they were purchased as a wedding gift to welcome you into a new family. Maybe you bought a special piece when you earned your first big promotion or had a child. Maybe you won a contest.
Those pieces have important sentimental meaning. They can never be replaced.
So with much emotion and knowing this is vitally important, toss those over here into this big cauldron like everyone else. Because this ritual is going to be so powerful that you will have food and water finally. So Aaron will stir them up, melt them down, and craft a beautiful, sparkling golden calf. And because Moses hasn’t returned yet to give you what you need to survive, you are ready to bow down to that golden calf and worship it. And this makes good sense. Because everyone has contributed all these special valuable items, so of course combining them together creates something even more special. The calf is comprised of everyone’s precious sentimental jewels. They represent moments of new births, ancestor’s history, special life achievements. And together they have melded together to form a new exciting deity.
This ritual has important emotional weight. And it gives you relief and joy. So you present your burnt offerings, lay your prayers at the foot of this precious calf, and once done, it’s time for celebration….
Father, Mother God, Loving Me, guide me to the truth in all things. Help me to discern what the Lord wants for my life. Amen.