Doing Church: The Golden Calf

Today’s service was very good.  Gary taught.  I find it very interesting how the styles between Gary and Todd are so different yet they compliment one another quite well as a team.  I guess God brings different people together to work together in some amazing ways.

We went through another chapter of Exodus.  The chapter where Moses goes up the mountain of the Lord and the people sit back with Aaron and wait for Moses to return.  It is a good story if you have not read it in a while.  Basically the people get worried that Moses died or something and ask Aaron to make them a god so that they can have something to look at.  Aaron asked for them to take off all the gold they had.  They did.  He then threw it in the fire and “out popped a golden calf” – so Aaron says later.  The people are happy they have a god to look at so they start dancing.

Meanwhile, Moses is up with God.  God let’s Moses in on what’s going on down at the camp.  Moses goes down, gets mad and smashes the tablets God had just written.  Moses deals with his brother, tells the people to divide and all the sudden about 3,000 people are dead.

Perhaps that is a crass way to explain the Scriptures.  I don’t know for sure.  But nonetheless, that is basically what happens.  Here are some thoughts about it after I have read it again.

1.  When we become impatient, we look for something to meet our needs.   We never enjoy sitting and waiting on God.  If we could figure out how to make something work in our own way, we feel we are better off for it.  What a shame.  It happens more often than we would like to admit though doesn’t it?

2.  The gods we create for ourselves are ridiculously dumb.  Here is a calf (which by the way was an animal sacrificed by pagan gods).  This café probably was not very big.  It was probably ugly and misshaped in some degree.  Still, it was worth worshipping and dancing around.

3.  This dancing deal was not just dancing like we dance at the clubs.  This kind of dancing, it is told to us through other scholars, was more of an orgy practice.  They most likely did more than “bump and grind.”  It was an all out sex dance.  And we know it was something that was detestable because it makes God and Moses really ticked off.

4.  Finally, it is interesting that about 3,000 people died that day.  In Acts, after Peter gave his speech concerning the Holy Spirit, about 3,000 people were saved and baptized.  The law brought death, and the Spirit brought life.  I think Paul writes something about that in Galatians doesn’t he?

I am not sure what kind of “golden calves” we create in our mind, our hearts, and with our hands.  What I do know is that God detests such things.  Maybe we would do well to smash them while we have the opportunity to do so.  Those are my few thoughts anyway.  God bless

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