What’s Your Golden Calf?

By Jeffie Burns


Exodus 32:1, 6 (Exodus 24-31 for background information)

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 the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.


Moses had gone with Joshua and over 70 of the elders up to the mountain to worship. Moses and Joshua went up the mountain in the cloud and waited six days. On the seventh day God called Moses to come alone into His Presence. For the next 40 days and 40 nights, God gave instructions on how to build the temple and everything inside. God also gave instructions on how the priest were to be consecrated, and the importance of the Sabbath. There are a few observations we can make about the Israelites’ situation:

  1. Waiting must have been very hard for the Israelites. They had no idea what was happening. Had something terrible happened to Moses? Was God really even there? Who would lead them now? And at some point the 70 elders must have come back down the mountain, tired of waiting.
  1. It’s important to remember that the Israelites wanted to worship. You and I want to worship, too. God placed a desire to worship in our hearts when He created us. Worship is our response in joyful awe of Jesus and His truth! The Israelites were restless; they needed someone or something to worship.
  1. The waiting was hard but then it “went south” quickly! They wanted to eat, drink and play and made a decision to craft a golden image and worship it as an idol. They even talked Aaron, the priest, into coordinating this fiasco…all within 40 days. They couldn’t wait. You and I struggle with waiting on God, too.


First, the COVID-19 quarantine has caused us all to have to wait to see, wait to know, wait to go, wait, wait, wait! But a big part of faith is waiting…and how we wait has impact. When you find God asking you to wait:

Worship Him.
Adore Him.
Inquire of Him.
Trust Him.

Second, we were made to worship! God created us to worship Him and worshipping with others is part of His plan. Don’t forsake the assembly of yourselves together, be ready to attend corporate worship every week, and make it a priority in your life. We need each other; we were made for community.

Third, having “other gods” looks different for each of us. Most of us don’t have a golden calf we carry around; we don’t even have trinkets (as my Mamaw would call them). For some, it is our children (or grandchildren), for others it’s sports, or a TV show. Realize that each of us has something in our lives that we need to lay at the throne of grace so that nothing will be more important than God and our relationship with Him.


God, we are not good at waiting, especially on You. Help us be better at waiting. God, we are quick to return to things that do not honor You or Your name. Help us to remember that waiting strengthens our faith and has an impact on our lives. God, we desire worship, help us worship You and You alone. Thank You for our church family, that we can gather together once a week and lift Your Name through music, prayer and Your Word. Thank you for Your faithfulness, Your waiting and Your desire to see us be sanctified by Your Word. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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