By Mary Vee
How can I begin to describe the feelings deep in my soul after listening to the Lord, the almighty God of this world, for forty days?
Let me catch my breath before I tell you more.
When He finished my lessons, He handed me two stone tablets of the Testimony, written on both sides of the stone with His own finger, to take to the people. I held them close to my chest, hugging his words. My body tingled as it never had before.
I wanted to stay longer, to hear more of His Word. But as I returned to the rock where I sat, the Lord stopped me. "Leave! Go at once! Your people, who you led out of Egypt have sinned. They promised to obey my commands, but they have not. Go and see the calf the children of Israel made from gold.
"At this moment they're singing, dancing, and worshiping it. One said, 'This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of Egypt.' I have watched this people, and indeed they are stubborn. Leave me, Moses. Leave me alone. I shall punish them then start a new nation with you."
I could barely breathe. How could the children of Israel do this? They promised to obey God. He's right here! OK they're camped at the base of the mountain, but they see His cloud, His fire, the mountain move. They saw me go up the path. They knew I went to meet with the great Lord. What happened to them?
My heart pounded loud enough for me to feel it in my head. I fell to the ground and pressed my face to the earth. "Lord, why are you angry at the people you saved from slavery in Egypt with your great power and mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say you saved them to kill them? Please, change Your mind and turn your anger from Your people. Remember Your promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. You said you would multiply their descendants as the stars of heaven, and give the land you spoke of, and their inheritance."
I waited a moment then heard. "Very well, Moses. I will not harm them."
I leapt up from the ground--not because I was happy. Oh, no. I grabbed the two tablets of stone and stomped down the mountain. Joshua barely kept up with me. Remember he is the young one and I the older. But my anger against the people powered my feet.
As we neared the bottom of the mountain, Joshua stopped. "Listen, Moses. Hear that noise?" We stood still and listened again. "It's not a shout of victory, or a cry of defeat, but a song of celebration. I wonder what is going on?"
I turned back to the path and stomped faster. "I know what they're doing, and they're going to hear an earful from me."
We reached the camp and found exactly what the Lord said. A golden calf surrounded with the children of Israel singing, dancing, and worshiping. They looked ridiculous.
My face grew hot and every muscle in my body tightened. I lifted the tablets high in the air and threw them with all my strength against the ground. The sound caused the people to stop. "Moses! You're here. You're alive. We--ah--thought you were--gone."
1. What did God give to Moses?
2. How did He write it?
3. What did Moses ask God to do for the children of Israel?
4. What did the children of Israel do wrong?
5. What did Moses do when he saw the children of Israel?