32 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.
2 And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me.
3 And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron.
4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the Lord.
6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.
K.J.V. Bible Text
Oops! Today we learned in our reading that the fickle Israelites lost heart when Moses was too long in coming down from the mount.
We know that they had seen the cloud upon the mount which should have confirmed the presence of God, but perhaps the people thought that God was keeping Moses and Moses would not return. (Just hazarding a guess) What the scripture says is they didn’t know what had become of Moses and so they asked Aaron to make them a God.
Aaron then had them break off their earrings and bring him all the gold which he melted down and made into an image of a golden calf. Aaron then built an altar before the image and made a proclamation that the morrow would be a feast to the Lord.
The next day the people made offerings to the idol and went about having a feast and a good time.
Every time I read about this incident, I am amazed at the children of Israel, but even more amazed at Aaron. Aaron, after all, had been beside Moses since the beginning, aiding him in doing the Lord’s bidding that produced miracles in Egypt.
Perhaps Aaron was “appeasing” the people in order to maintain calm in the camp, but still, this is mind boggling. It makes me wonder if this is another incident of what we saw with Pharaoh. We know that the Lord hardened his heart against the Israelites to show his power. Could he have allowed the people to doubt him to prove yet again that he is Almighty God? We shall probably see as we continue reading Chapter 32 tomorrow.
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