When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” So Aaron said to them, “Take off the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off the rings of gold that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord.” And they rose up early the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings. And the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play. Exodus 32:1-6 ESV
Their idols are silver and gold,
the work of human hands.
They have mouths, but do not speak;
eyes, but do not see.
They have ears, but do not hear;
noses, but do not smell.
They have hands, but do not feel;
feet, but do not walk;
and they do not make a sound in their throat.
Those who make them become like them;
so do all who trust in them. Psalm 115:4-8 ESV
Janet’s dad had to go to work on a Saturday for a few hours. He had promised Janet that he would take her to the park that day, but because he had to go to work, he needed Janet to wait for awhile. Janet was really disappointed that they couldn’t go right away. She was worried that her dad might work all day and forget about his promise. She even worried that he wouldn’t come home at all. All this worry showed that Janet didn’t trust her dad. If she had believed in what he promised her, she wouldn’t have worried. Can you imagine how silly it would have been if Janet had made herself a paper doll of a father, and expected that paper doll to take her to the park instead of her real father?
The people of Israel did something just as silly. When Moses went up the holy mountain to talk to God, they got tired of waiting for him. They even wondered if he would ever come back. Since Moses spoke to them for God, they also felt as if God had left them alone. Even after all God had done for them to bring them out of Egypt, they decided they would be better off with a god they made for themselves. They wanted a god they could control and worship in their own way. They didn’t want the true, holy God who commanded their obedience, but instead one who would let them do what they wanted.
We are just as silly as the people of Israel sometimes. Maybe we don’t make idols of gold, but anything we trust to help us or save us is our god. We might trust our own hard work, or money, or the government, or medicine, or science, or other people to take care of us and make our lives good. All of these things are God’s gifts to us, and he uses them to help us, but none of them are perfect. Sometimes, because of sin, all of these things will fail us. Only God will always be with us and able to help us. We can be sure that God loves us and wants to help us when we remember that he sent Jesus to be our Savior. Jesus died to make us God’s own children, and because of Jesus, we know that God’s love and care will always be ours.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your love and care. Help us to trust you always. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.