Golden calves - Hope 103.2

Golden calves

By David ReayMonday 8 Aug 2016LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Exodus 32:1-5

1 When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. “Come on,” they said, “make us some gods who can lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.”

2 So Aaron said, “Take the gold rings from the ears of your wives and sons and daughters, and bring them to me.”

3 All the people took the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 Then Aaron took the gold, melted it down, and molded it into the shape of a calf. When the people saw it, they exclaimed, “O Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!”

5 Aaron saw how excited the people were, so he built an altar in front of the calf. Then he announced, “Tomorrow will be a festival to the Lord!” (NLT)

Too many of us nowadays approach God much as we might approach a shopping centre. We are looking for something to satisfy us, to meet some felt needs, real or imagined. We are faced with a variety of options and can pick and choose our product. Or if we don’t like what is in front of us we can go home empty-handed.

Too many of us see God as a means to an end. We want good health, successful children, business success, immunity from misfortune, happy marriages. We want answers to our questions and resolutions to our problems. And so we enlist God in our project.

Nothing at all wrong in desiring any of the above. Except that God is not be used in such a way. The people of God in the Sinai wilderness got fed up with Jehovah. He wasn’t coming good for them. He wasn’t the sort of God they were expecting. So they created their own deity. And while we might laugh at the crudity of worshipping a golden calf, we may be guilty of the same mindset.

The essence of all such idolatry is that we maintain control. We dictate terms. We choose the product. The Bible warns us against this because it shows us a God who takes second place to no one or no one thing. A God who will not be tamed by our consumerism no matter how well we camouflage it.

David Reay

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