Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Temptation: The Golden Calf part 1

By Mary Vee
Exodus 32


My brother, Moses, left over a month ago.  In truth, I don't know when he's coming back.  Before he went up the mountain he told the children of Israel to wait for him. He instructed them to come to  Hur and me with their problems.

Life in camp went well for a while. But of late the people have grown impatient.  Yesterday a group of men asked when Moses would return.  How would I know?

This morning a larger group of men gathered. To quiet them down I agreed to hear their dispute. One stepped forward. "Moses hasn't returned."

I nodded. "Yes. I noticed."

He rolled his eyes. "When is he coming back?"

I shrugged. "When he finishes his meeting with the Lord."

Another pushed forward. "Maybe he's not coming back!" 

The other men in the group yelled "Yeah. What are we suppose to do if he doesn't return?" 

I didn't have answers for their questions. More men gathered from the camp to join in the yelling.  I couldn't think. I wanted them to stop yelling before someone got hurt. 

The first man turned to the group and shouted, "We need a god that we can see. What do you say? We should make gods who will go before us. Who's with me?"

The rest of the men joined in the shouting.  I looked back at the mountain and wondered if Moses would ever come back.  What if he didn't?  How long should we wait? 

The leader of the men waved his arm to quiet the group.  He turned to me. "Look Aaron, your brother, Moses, did a great job leading us out of Egypt and we're thankful not to be slaves. But think back to the riches the Egyptians had--remember?  They had gods they could see.  It'd be a lot easier to obey a god we could see.  What do you say?"

The group cheered at his idea.  I didn't know what to do.  Hur didn't either.  Maybe if they had a god they could see, they'd obey the commandments given to us.  So I agreed. "Bring me the earrings worn by your wives and children."

By the afternoon they'd brought plenty of gold to make a rather large calf. I used an engraving tool to shape the calf and set it on a table.  "This is your god, O Israel that brought you out of Egypt."

The next day I built an altar in front of the new god and told the people, "Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord."  The people rose early, something they hadn't done in a while, and brought sacrifices to the god. They ate and drank in celebration.  

Everyone seemed happy.  Maybe this was the right thing to do.  

Maybe Moses would never come back.

I wonder if I made the right choice.

Aaron did not make the right choice.  He allowed the people to take control.  Moses placed Aaron and Hur in charge, but Aaron let the people lead.

1. Who had not returned from the mountain yet?
2. Who was in charge of the Israelites at this time? (2 people)
3. What did the people want and why?
4. What did Aaron decide to do?

5. How does this story apply to your life?

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