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Exodus 32.1 - 14

posted 12 May 2014, 07:35 by Ben@theorderoftheblacksheep.com

When the people realized Moses was taking a long time to return from his trek up the mountain, they got together and approached Aaron.

People: We have no idea what happened to this fellow Moses who brought us out of the land of Egypt.[a] He left you in charge, so get up and make us gods who will lead us from here.

Aaron: I want you to bring me the gold earrings your wives, sons, and daughters are wearing.

So everyone took out their gold earrings and handed them over to Aaron. He collected the gold they brought and used a tool to fashion an idol in the shape of a calf. When the people saw the calf Aaron made, they were elated.

People (seeing the calf): Israel, these are your gods—the ones who led you out of the land of Egypt.

When Aaron saw how the people responded, he built an altar in front of the golden calf.

Aaron: We are going to have a feast to the Eternal tomorrow.

Everyone woke up before dawn the next day and presented burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altarWhen the food was ready, they sat down to eat and drink and then rose up to dance and play.[b]

Meanwhile, on the mountain, the Eternal One spoke to Moses.

This is truly a dark moment for Israel. Moses left Aaron and Hur in charge 40 days ago, and both men are beginning to feel the strain. The people are stuck in the desert, and they are growing increasingly impatient without Moses and direction from God. So the people begin to question, and eventually they demand a physical representation of God like the ones their neighbors have. Aaron complies. With Moses and God occupied, the people begin breaking the Ten Directives, one after another: worshiping other gods, making idols, invoking God’s name for their own selfish purposes, and committing other indecent acts. The people of God fall quickly, and they fall hard. For a brief period, their very survival is in doubt.

Eternal One: Go back down the mountain immediately, because your people whom you led out of Egypt have corrupted themselves. They have quickly abandoned the way of life I require of them. They have fashioned a calf out of gold, bowed down to it, and offered it sacrifices. They are even crediting My work to that detestable idol, saying, “Israel, these are your gods—the ones who brought you out of the land of Egypt!”

I know these people, and they are unbelievably stubborn. 10 Leave Me alone so that My anger can flare up and destroy them. Then I will start over and continue My plans without them and make a great nation out of you.

Moses (begging): 11 Eternal One, why are You so angry? Why does Your anger flare up against the people You led out of Egypt with so much power and a strong hand? 12 Do You really want the Egyptians to say: “You deceived them and led them into the mountains in order to kill them and to wipe their memory from the earth”? I beg you to curb Your anger, and change your mind. Don’t harm Your people. 13 Remember the sacred promise You made to Your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. You swore, “I will make your descendants as many as the stars in the sky, and I will give them all of this land as I promised. It will be their everlasting inheritance.”

14 So the Eternal relented and decided not to destroy the people as He had threatened to do.