The Festival of the Golden Calf


5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” 6 So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry. Exodus 32:5-6

Aaron started down the wrong path by gathering all the gold, melting it and fashioning it into a calf. He tried to correct the error by saying there would be festival to Jehovah the next day. By then it was too late.

As one commentary said, “You can take the Israelites out of Egypt, but it’s not so easy to get Egypt out of the Israelites!”

The Israelites had learned about all the animal worship in Egypt, and this was just a continuation of that.

But they don’t stop there. After the idol worship, they ate, drank, and pretty much had engaged in sensualistic behaviors too graphic to describe.

So, essentially they went down a wrong path and continued down that path without correcting course. Moses, prompted by Jehovah Himself, will have something to say about it in short order.

Once again, the people went from worship to debauchery fairly quickly. At a certain point “mob behavior” took over and there was no turning back.

But the point is that they strayed off course without correcting early. Had someone – anyone – spoken up about where it was headed, the outcry to the Lord would not have been great.

Course corrections are a part of life. The earlier we spot them, the easier they become to return to the straight and narrow.

In Alaska, my pastor taught me that “sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay and cost you more than you want to pay.”

I can’t argue with it, can you?


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