Tag Archives: golden calf

Making a God of Our Own

You were delayed Moses,
you didn’t come back
when we wanted you to.

We didn’t know where you were
or what you were doing
and we,
so we thought,
couldn’t wait.

You didn’t act God,
when
and how,
we wanted ,
thought we needed
you to.

So,
we took matters into our own hands.
made ourselves a god,
a god that looked like we thought it should,
would do what we wanted it to.

And we worshipped it,
the god of our own making,
our design,
to meet our purposes.

Forgive me Lord,
when I have failed to wait for you,
your time,
your best ways.

When I have taken things into my own hands
tried to make you be like I want
you to be,
to look like the kind of God I think I need.

When I have made you
in my image
and offered my all,
my precious gifts
to that poor imitation.

May I learn to wait for you,
for your timing,
not try to force you hand,
but to live by your ways,
for you are God,
the only God I need,
the only one worthy of my praise
and worship.

The Golden Calf

When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered around Aaron and said to him, ‘Come, make gods for us, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ Aaron said to them, ‘Take off the gold rings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.’ So all the people took off the gold rings from their ears, and brought them to Aaron. He took the gold from them, formed it in a mould, and cast an image of a calf; and they said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’ When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation and said, ‘Tomorrow shall be a festival to the Lord.’ They rose early the next day, and offered burnt-offerings and brought sacrifices of well-being; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to revel.

The Lord said to Moses, ‘Go down at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely; they have been quick to turn aside from the way that I commanded them; they have cast for themselves an image of a calf, and have worshipped it and sacrificed to it, and said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” ’ The Lord said to Moses, ‘I have seen this people, how stiff-necked they are. Now let me alone, so that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; and of you I will make a great nation.’

But Moses implored the Lord his God, and said, ‘O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, “It was with evil intent that he brought them out to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth”? Turn from your fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, how you swore to them by your own self, saying to them, “I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it for ever.” ’ And the Lord changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people.

Exodus 32: 1-14

Acting Like Fools

Laughing Fool

Have you ever had a good deed thrown back in your face?

Something you have done that has gone unacknowledged, or someone else has tried to claim the deed for themselves?

Do you find that frustrating?  Annoying?  Rude?

Imagine how God must feel…

Exodus 32:7-14

The Lord said to Moses:

Hurry back down! Those people you led out of Egypt are acting like fools. They have already stopped obeying me and have made themselves an idol in the shape of a young bull. They have bowed down to it, offered sacrifices, and said that it is the god who brought them out of Egypt. Moses, I have seen how stubborn these people are, 10 and I’m angry enough to destroy them, so don’t try to stop me. But I will make your descendants into a great nation.

11 Moses tried to get the Lord God to change his mind:

Our Lord, you used your mighty power to bring these people out of Egypt. Now don’t become angry and destroy them. 12 If you do, the Egyptians will say that you brought your people out here into the mountains just to get rid of them. Please don’t be angry with your people. Don’t destroy them!

13 Remember the solemn promise you made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You promised that someday they would have as many descendants as there are stars in the sky and that you would give them land.

14 So even though the Lord had threatened to destroy the people, he changed his mind and let them live.

After all God had done for the people, leading them out of Egypt – a place of slavery, and bringing them to Israel – a land of promise.  After all he had done, they still want an idol to worship.  They can’t focus and rely on him, they want something else.

After all God has done for me…

Is he the focus of my life?

Or do I act like a fool?

Do I want to replace him with something inconsequential?  An object of my adoration that is not real?  Or not worthy?

It’s easy to condemn the people for being so easily and quickly distracted and led astray – but am I any different?

Forgive me Lord
when I have made idols of the wrong things,
objects in my life that I have given undue importance,
idols I have built with my own hands,
times when I don’t acknowledge your place.

Lord,I give them to you,
sorry for what I have done,
I bring them to be smashed.

May you alone
be the object of my adoration
and worship