The Golden Calf – Exodus 32:1 – 34:35

The Golden Calf – Exodus 32:1 – 34:35

“They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them…”

An idol can be anything that takes the rightful place of God in our lives.  For the ancient Hebrews, they wanted something tangible they could worship, an idol they could carry with them.

What they apparently did not want was this unpredictable God who was shrouded in clouds and lightning on top of the mountain.  They were tired of waiting for God to act… impatient for Moses to return… and so they decided to take things in their own hand.

And so they did what they had seen other people do– they built for themselves an idol.  They wanted to be like other nations, with gods that they could see and touch… gods that were made from gold and finely crafted.  They were willing to exchange the power of the living God for an idol that they could contain.

The danger of idolatry still exists in our lives (and our churches) today.  The obvious ones include entertainment superstars, sports teams, and favorite electronic gadgets.  But the more dangerous forms of idolatry are the more subtle ones: when we trust something or someone to do what we should only trust God to do – our doctors, our government, our jobs, or even our credit cards.  For when we put our trust in those things, we have become like the people around us – wanting a god that we can touch and control.

What have you allowed to take the rightful place of God in your life?

Holy God, we praise Thy name;
Lord of all, we bow before Thee.
All on earth Thy scepter claim;
All in heav’n above adore Thee.
Infinite Thy vast domain;
Everlasting is Thy reign.
                            – Ignaz Franz

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