Moses was in Leader boot camp. God had spoken to the people, met with the elders, and then invited Moses up for a month and a half of teaching and preparing Him to lead these people. Back down at the base of Mt Sinai, the people were feeling very entitled to the food God was sending each day. after 40 days, they decided the the God that had delivered them, protected them, fed, watered them, spoke to them, and literally led them day and night; just was not enough.
They enlisted Aaron, to make them an idol to worship and rebel against the very God that had saved them. Aaron did so and the sin and craziness began. Imagine the total Frustration Moses and Joshua must have felt. Sure, they had been Gone for a month, but God’s presence was felt literally every day in the most basic of ways, food, protection, and a thick cloud of smoke on Mount Sinai. God was furious, Moses was furious…Heck, I am furious. How could these people be so thoughtless and selfish?!!?
As usual, before I get all self-righteous, I can point to my share of golden calf moments. I have tried to assume I knew what was best rather than trust the Lord. invariably my stubborn pursuit of self-interest sits in the middle of God’s grace and leadership. It is not that I do not understand that I need to trust the Lord, it is simply that I do not like his plan or His timing. Israel thought Moses had been away too long. Really? After 400 years of slavery, they could not wait 40 days to abandon their commitment. We must continue to trust God, even when it is not comfortable to do so. If we will, He will walk with us, provide for us, and lead us to the place we need to be.
God Bless You
7 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. 8 They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’
9 “I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. 10 Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.”
11 But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God. “Lord,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. 13 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’” 14 Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.
15 Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back. 16 The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.