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.
What will distract us from God's demand to worship only Him and provoke His jealousy? IDOLATRY! What is an IDOL? Anything that replaces our worship from our Creator. An idol gives it's creator what they want - the dictates of their own hearts, since they are the ones who create it. It is a very convenient form of worship.
When Moses led the Israelite out of the bondage from Egypt, we saw how God demostrated His Glory through the ten plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, protecting His people with a Pillar of Cloud by day and a Pillar of Fire by night. He even sustained and provided His people with the miracles of manna & quails from heaven.
When they arrived at Mount Sinai, while Moses was on the mountain receiving the law - which began with commandments against worshiping false gods - the recent redeemed people of the covenant were at the foot of God's mountain makng a false god. A tragic story unfold. Aaron and the children of Israel made a molded calf, pointed to it, and said, "Behold Yahweh, the one, true God, brought us out of the land of Egypt." They called this calf the name of the Lord, reducing His glory to the level of the image of a golden calf. They acknowledged that Yahweh saved and delivered them from Egypt; they did not deny His power, however they had reduced His glory
Now, where did the Israelite get the idea of the golden calf from? For 4oo years most of them were exposed to and surrounded by the Egyptian's culture, and Egypt had many objects of worship. The Israelites were delivered from Egypt, which was a type of being born again, but did not know God intimately. They "played church" at the foot of the mountain, which resulted in God's image being reduced to what she had absorbed from his surroundings. Israel was surrounded by society that worshiped golden images of animals and insects. The modern-day church is surounded by a worldly culture that worship SELF, MATERIALISM, SEXUAL PLEASURES .... if we still desire a worldly lifestyle, which is against the flow of God's authority; we can have it by subconsciously serving and worshiping "our jesus" whose will is in accordance with our own desires.
Moses saw that the people were running wild ...
and so become a laughingstock to their enemies.
What does God think when His worshipers "run wild" in disobedience and devotion to materialism, greed, religiousity, lust, status and prestige? If worship is first and foremost about His reputation, and we fall away from it so easily - allowing all sorts of rivals to compete with His reputation in our lives - do not His enemies have a right to laugh? ARE WE NOT PROVOKING GOD'S JEALOUSY!
You shall have no other gods before me
You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of
anything in heaven above or on earth beneath or
in the water below. You shall not bow down to them;
for I, the Lord your God am a jealous God
Do not worship any other god. For the Lord,
Whose name is jealous, is a jealous God.
From these verses in the scriptures that we learn that WORSHIP BELONGS TO GOD AND GOD DEMANDS IT! DO NOT PROVOKE HIS JEALOUSY! (See also May 17, 2009 post).