Today I read Exodus 32 the famous chapter where the people of Israel make a golden calf and worship it. This episode has never made sense to me at all. I understand that the people were used to having idols to look at and worship. It was all they knew and understood because they had lived all their lives in the land of Egypt, and in Egypt they worshiped idols. However, what I have never understood is that shouldn't have Aaron have known better? He and his sons were chosen to receive the Priesthood and to assist Moses and to officiate in the temple/tabernacle. How could he not have known better? I know that we probably have just the barest of outlines of what actually happened, but wouldn't it have been important to include that Aaron fought them on it and argued with them if in fact he did?
Also, I know it is unfair to compare myself to the Israelites, but I can't help doing so. I have never understood why people need something to look at to worship anyway. Now, I know that like I said earlier, the Israelites have been living in Egypt and that this is what they have seen before this, but they have to know that Heavenly Father is not a cow/calf! Why would they want a golden calf to worship and pay obeisance to? Why would they want to be like the Egyptians anyway? I have never understood why members of the church of God, in any era, want to be like the rest of the world. What's so great about the rest of the world? What do they have other than sin and misery that the Church of God doesn't have? Nothing. Wickedness never was happiness, it just takes some people a long time to realize this fact.
When Moses returns and sees what is transpiring it is always heart warming to see that none of the tribe of Levi were partaking in the sin and revelry. When Moses rallies the children of Israel the tribe of Levi is the one that responds. Is it any wonder why they are chosen to be the priests of the people and have the priesthood and officiate in God's ordinances on behalf of the people? They respond in righteousness when all around them is sin and debauchery. Now, again, we only have the barest of outlines here, but Moses commands the tribe of Levi to kill over 3000 men, and I assume women too although it does not state this fact. I have to assume that these are the men, and probably women, that would not repent of the evil they had committed and when Moses commanded them to. Now the scriptures state that those worshiping the calf were naked, although the footnote states that the word naked might denote just riotous behavior and revelry. Whether they were naked or not, part of the problem was the way they were "worshiping" the calf. It's not just that they made it, it is the fact that they were degrading themselves with their so called worship services. They were so loud that when Moses came part way down the mountain and found Joshua waiting, Joshua thought the camp was being attacked by an army. That's pretty bad in my opinion.
Moses in his anger broke the tablets that contained the law and covenants of the Lord that God had just given him. However, I'm pretty sure that God would have taken them away even if Moses had not broken them. Heavenly Father was pretty upset by the behavior of His chosen people after He had done so much for them. And who wouldn't be? I mean what a slap in the face. That is rejection on a grand scale. This is part of the reason that God gives them the lesser law from this point on, because it is clear that they can't handle the greater law. But we'll read more on that later. I never have been able to wrap my mind around this story in the Bible and I guess it's because I don't have all the details. One day I imagine we'll be told the entire story and we can know why they did this reprehensible act. For now it is enough to know that they rejected the Lord their God, knowingly and willfully, and God will not be mocked. Until tomorrow.