- Exodus 32:1 - 33:23
- Exodus 34:1 - 35:9
Exodus 32:1 - 35:9
While Moses was on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights, the people who had been brought out of Egypt were again disgruntled. They asked Aaron to make for them an idol to worship. He then instructed them all to given him their gold jewelry, and he melted it down and formed a calf made out of gold. They then worshiped the calf, thanking the gods for delivering them from Egypt.
I don't know by what patience Moses managed to put up with those people. I can hardly stand to read about their complete ungratefulness and lack of faith; I couldn't imagine actually having to deal with it all. And here they go again, with perhaps their worse sin of all -- attributing the works of God to false gods, all when Moses hadn't even been gone for two months.
Both the Lord and Moses were outraged. Moses called for those faithful to the Lord to slay those who were not, and we are told that 3,000 people were killed at that time (32:28). The Lord then called for a plague (though it does not say what kind) to fall among the others who had been unfaithful to Him.
People are so fickle and never fail to astonish me. I read comments on news stories, blogs and opinion articles, and so many of those comments are utterly ridiculous. Each time I see this I wonder what is wrong with people these days?! But the more I read the bible, the more I understand that the things going on in the world today and the people of the world today are no worse than the all the people of history. God literally parted the Red Sea for these people, He delivered them from Egypt with a supernatural display of force, yet so easily they turn -- whining at every bump along the way.
This also goes to show that no matter what is done for other people, no matter what God has helped them to accomplish in their lives, no matter how much we share the gospel and the Lord's love with them -- no matter what, we cannot change another person's heart.
We can merely pray that their hearts been softened so that they can acknowledge the truth and receive the spirit of Christ into their hearts. Other than that, people will always be people and there's nothing else that can be done. After all, we all have free will.