Exodus 32:1-6
Deuteronomy 4:15-19


“Take ye therefore good heed
unto yourselves …”



When Moses was still up on Mt Sinai with God, the people got impatient and wanted to proceed to the Promised Land since they were not sure what had happened to Moses. But they wanted God to be with them to lead them in their journey. So they told Aaron to make them a representation of God (the word “gods” in Exodus 32:1 and 4 and the word “God” are the same word in Hebrew) and let it lead them on instead of waiting for Moses to come down. Aaron acceded and told them to bring their golden earrings to him. Aaron made a golden graven image of a molten calf and proclaimed that it was their God which led them out of Egypt. He even made an altar and proclaimed a feast to Jehovah. The people rose up early and presented offerings to the LORD. “Rose up to play” (Exod 32:6) is a euphemism for fornication. They did so in front of Mount Sinai, after witnessing God’s fearsome power. 


They recently heard the Ten Commandments (Exod 20). Yet Aaron and the people wilfully and blatantly broke the Second Commandment. Their intentions were seemingly right (to have God go before them) but breaking God’s commandment was sin. The bull typically symbolized strength and fertility which suited the image they had about Jehovah in their eyes thus far. They were not associating the golden calf with other gods per se but wanted a symbol that they could see as Jehovah. This sin led them to other terrible sins. The lesson for us is that we must never break God’s laws even if it seems to help us associate with Him. Otherwise, we end up creating our own image of God. Many today are serious about wanting God to be with them but not serious about obeying Him. Do not take His commandments lightly. You know you have a golden calf as your god when you make up your own ideas about how to have God in your life but do not obey His commands (eg. partial keeping of the Lord’s Day). There will be consequences.

THOUGHT: Have I turned God into something He is not?
PRAYER: LORD, help me to know and obey Thee rightly.