“Remember this and never forget how you aroused the anger of the Lord your God in the wilderness. From the day you left Egypt until you arrived here, you have been rebellious against the Lord. At Horeb you aroused the Lord’s wrath so that he was angry enough to destroy you.” Deuteronomy 9:7-8
Moses received a call from the Lord to travel up Mt Sinai to receive instructions from the very hand of God Himself. He would spend 40 days receiving these instructions written on tablets, the 10 Commandments. These instructions were loving guidelines from a heavenly Father warning His children to follow these simple rules so as not to hurt themselves, hurt others, and hurt their relationship with Him.
While Moses was on the mountain of God, the people were impatient and decided they would wait no longer. They convinced God’s priest, Aaron, to take all of the gold jewelry, melt them, and form a god to worship. They formed a golden calf and set it up on an alter for the whole camp to see. They were overjoyed at their accomplishment. They believed that this god helped rescue them out of their 400 years of bondage. It seems silly to us today. Who would really worship a golden calf? Actually though, we do the same thing. See, we take the things that we have and put great value on them, giving them credit for our successes. We value our finances, careers, education, our own skills and talents, and even other people around us as the reason for our success. We give credit to these things above God, when actually, without God, none of these things are even possible.
After forming the golden calf god, the people decided to have a celebration in honor of what they had done. They rose early to prepare, sacrificing animals for the feast. After which, they partied it up, dancing and singing, eating, and drinking and engaging in all sorts of sins.
“I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.” Exodus 32:9-10
Moses came down the mountain and approached the camp, “[He] saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain. And he took the calf the people had made and burned it in the fire; then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it. He said to Aaron, “What did these people do to you, that you led them into such great sin?”… Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies. So [Moses] stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.” And all the Levites rallied to him. Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’” The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died.” Exodus 32:19-28
“The Lord replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book. Now go, lead the people to the place I spoke of, and my angel will go before you. However, when the time comes for me to punish, I will punish them for their sin. And the Lord struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made.” Exodus 32:33-35
May 1, 2013 – “May Day” – The Golden Calf Comes Back, Portland Oregon
“I was kinda flabbergasted at it,” [a reporter from The Blaze] said of the scene. “I really thought that it’s quite ironic that a lot of what we see going on around us now is not a very positive thing for society, and if you bring this back to the golden calf with Moses, I thought, isn’t that weird. I wonder if they see that in their own display, that they’re mimicking that.” “If you look closely at the calf, you can see that the logos of companies like Shell and Walmart are taped to its base. Coupled with the dollar signs on the dancers’ headdresses, it’s also possible they were trying to imply it’s the capitalists who are worshiping the golden calf.”
Regardless of why these individuals decided to built a golden calf replica and dance around it in a public setting, I can’t help but think this is a sore reminder for the Lord as He remembers the time when His people rose up against Him showing that they were in control of their destiny and not Him. The sad thing is that with all of our technological and educational advancements, we are no better off than 1000’s of years ago as we continue to prove over and over again that we have been, are, and will always be, in rebellion against the very God who created us. His heart must break daily.