Time for an Explanation
Does guilt for any wrongdoing lie heavy on your heart today? Bring it to the Lord.
Read Exodus 32:15-24
 Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back.  The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.  When Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, “There is the sound of war in the camp.”  Moses replied: “It is not the sound of victory, it is not the sound of defeat; it is the sound of singing that I hear.”  When Moses approached the camp and 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?”  “Do not be angry, my lord,” Aaron answered. “You know how prone these people are to evil.  They said to me, ‘Make us gods 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.’  So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’ Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow does Moses react to the fiasco of the golden calf?
It’s hard to imagine anything more precious than the burden Moses carries: tablets, inscribed by the finger of God himself, that establish the rules by which God’s people should live. Smashing them at the foot of the mountain symbolizes the seriousness of what the people have done. They have broken their promises and put their future relationship with the Lord in jeopardy. How much do you think Aaron’s dishonest response contributes to Moses’ anger? If you compare verses 23-24 with 1-4, what are the differences? Aaron’s behavior provides a sharp contrast to that of Moses, yet both men are leaders appointed by God. Some commentators point out that it isn’t the singing and dancing in themselves that Moses objected to (18). The people celebrated their deliverance after the Red Sea crossing in exactly the same way (cf. ch. 15). What is so wrong about what they are doing here is the fact that they aren’t celebrating anything real–there has been no victory and no defeat. Their partying is just an excuse for indulgence.
Have you been playing down the seriousness of your self-indulgence? How might God view your behavior?
Father of all good gifts, may I learn to delight in Your presence and abhor the fleeting pleasures of sin.
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