Exodus 32 : The Calf

March 1, 2024 ·

Summary:
While Moses was on the mountain, the people, led by Aaron, constructed a golden calf, worshipped it, and celebrated with a festival. Concurrently, God informed Moses of the situation and Moses persuaded God to spare them from destruction for their sin.

Upon descending the mountain and witnessing the revelry, Moses shattered the tablets, incinerated the calf, and dispersed its ashes into the Israelites’ drinking water. Moses then called for those who were loyal to God to join him; only the Levites responded. Moses commanded the Levites to execute the idolaters, resulting in about three thousand deaths. God vowed to punish the sinners and subsequently inflicted a plague upon the people.

Key verse:
8. They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt! 

My thoughts:
This is a messy chapter. There’s sin, death, plague, lying and threats. The Israelites screwed up royal, and practically fall into civil war so soon after God had performed great miracles for them. The only reason God didn’t just kill them all, is because then the Egyptians would have bragging rights over God, because he sent his people into the desert to die. 

Sometimes it’s hard to understand God commanding the death of masses of people, but it happens a lot in Israel’s early years of conquering Canaan. It’s a difficult issue to wrestle with, but I guess that it was such a vital part of God’s plan, that any imperfection had to be physically removed at this stage of God’s plan. Ultimately God is God, and he reserves the right to kill people, when he sees it fit (even in the New Testament – see Acts 5).

In category:Exodus
Next Post

Exodus 33 : The glory of the Lord

Summary: God instructs Moses to lead His people to Canaan, indicating that He Himself will not accompany them due to His frustration with the Israelites' obstinacy. Instead, an angel will guide them. God expresses concern that His presence might provoke…
Read
Previous Post

Exodus 31 : Craftsmen and Sabbaths

Summary: Two craftsmen, Bezalel and Oholiab, are chosen by God to create all the items described in the previous chapters. God instructs Moses to remind his people to observe the Sabbath, emphasizing that God created the earth in six days…
Read
Random Post

Genesis 40 : Joseph Interprets Some Dreams 

Summary: Joseph finds himself in prison, where he encounters two fellow prisoners: Pharaoh's cupbearer and baker. These two men have troubling dreams, and Joseph, being gifted in interpreting dreams, offers to help them. The cupbearer dreams of squeezing grapes into…
Read
Random Post

Exodus 6 : God Promises Deliverance

Summary: God encourages Moses by reassuring him of who He is and that He will lead His people out. Moses shares this with the Israelites, but they do not listen. Moses also doubts whether Pharaoh will listen. Jacob's son Levi…
Read
Random Post

Genesis 14: Abram's Rescue Mission

Summary: In a war between five kings, including Kedorlaomer, and four kings, including the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah, Kedorlaomer's side emerges as the more powerful and defeats Sodom. As a result, the people of Sodom, including Lot, are taken…
Read
Random Post

Genesis 44 : Benjamin is Enslaved

Summary: As the brothers depart, Joseph covertly orders that their payment silver be placed in their sacks, while also instructing for his special silver cup to be placed in Benjamin's sack. Subsequently, Joseph sends men to apprehend his brothers, accusing…
Read
From Dust to Glory is made by Ric Moseley