Day 30

The Gold Calf



Exodus 32:1-35, 1 Kings 12:26-28

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: Exodus 32:1-35, 1 Kings 12:26-28

I love browsing through my childhood photographs with my daughters. It brings me such joy to watch their facial expressions as they grapple with the realization that their Mommy was once a little girl just like them. We compare hairstyles, shoes, and favorite poses. I share the stories and memories of each photo, and inevitably, we laugh at how much I’ve changed.

Every once in a while, when the laughter settles, the reality hits me that the little girl in the photographs had no idea of the future her heavenly Father had in store for her. I wish I could look my younger self in the eyes and tell her so many things. Mostly, I wish she would have believed God’s Word and used it as the foundation of her actions and the blueprint for her future.

There is just no doubt about it: God’s Word is true and every word in it is written to teach, lead, protect, encourage, and draw His children into a life with Him. All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Like the Israelites at the bottom of Mount Sinai, I can become impatient and choose my own truth to follow. Throughout my life, I have had vivid memories of seasons where God’s Word, His voice, and His presence just seemed too far out of reach. It is in these seasons when my heart wanders; trusting His plan for good in my life becomes harder and harder.

It seems harsh, but it’s true: I’ve created golden calves of my own. When God seems far away, it becomes much easier to place my trust, faith, and hope in other things that are seemingly more tangible—my career, marriage, children, or excessive entertainment, just to name a few. This truth makes me even more grateful for God’s grace and the many opportunities He gives me to turn my eyes and heart back toward Him and toward the truth of His Word.

And so even when my heart becomes heavy, when my impatience and anxiousness lead me to believe God’s presence is off somewhere in the distance, God is calling me to remember that He is at work in my life and in all things. He has given us His very real presence in Jesus Christ and the very real truth of His Word.

Although I cannot go back and talk to myself as an impatient teenager, a faltering twenty-something, or an anxious new mother, I choose to remain grateful that God’s Word is true. The tablets Moses brought down to the Israelites “were the work of God, and the writing was God’s writing” (Exodus 32:16). Even now, He is writing a continual story of grace, regardless of our ability to see it in the moment. But as we learn to trust Him more, we find that His grace is never-ending, His forgiveness abounding, and His love unwavering.

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Wynter Pitts is the founder of For Girls Like You, a resource ministry for both tween girls and their parents. The mother of four girls herself, Wynter’s mission is to empower and equip women of all ages in becoming who God created them to be, and to support parents in raising strong Christ followers. She is the author of several books, including You’re God’s Girl Devotional and She Is Yours: Trusting God As You Raise the Girl He Gave You.  Wynter, her husband Jonathan, and their daughters (ages 7-13) live in Dallas, Texas. Follow her on Instagram @forgirlslikeyou.

Post Comments (90)

90 thoughts on "The Gold Calf"

  1. Nancy Crouch Morlini says:

    I found the He Reads Truth commentary for this day very enlightening also. Neither tackle the vengeance of God though which is an ongoing wrestling point for me.

  2. Anna Gleichman says:

    Such a good reflection. It’s so easy to forget this and find ourselves prioritizing the blessings in our lives. I find myself doing this with relationships, money etc. So important to remember to worship the Creator, not the creations.

    1. Grace says:

      Such a great point! PTL

  3. Wendy says:

    The answer to the violence is in Exodus 32: 26. Moses asked everyone who is on God’s side to come to him and only the sons of Levi joined Moses.

  4. Sarah says:

    Why the violence? Why did murdering others bring a blessing on the Levites? I have trouble understanding God in this context.

    1. Bek says:

      Hi Sarah, I think this is a really important question and we need to wrestle with it. At different times I have found this and other occasions like it extremely troubling. 2 things help me understand more about God in this context. (1) He is holy and the “wages of sin is death.” Yes it is extremely harsh, but it is also just. It’s a harshness and justice that saw the innocent Christ butchered on the cross. (2) I think God did this because it was necessary to his plan of salvation. If Israel was full of people who could abandon God for a golden calf after everything they had seen him do, there was not much hope of the blessing “all nations will be blessed through you” to come to pass. Time and again Israel fails very badly and things look dicey for this promise many, many times. I wonder if it would have even been possible without the removing (yes, by the harshness of death) the Israelites who has turned their backs on God at this early stage of the salvation narrative. I hope that makes sense. It may be off the mark- it just occurred to me then and I am no scholar. But I wanted to share my thinking with you. Thanks for asking the tough questions.

    2. Ruth Gordon says:

      I know what you mean… I cringe and stru

    3. Ruth Gordon says:

      I’m sorry, that posted before I meant to. I meant to say I cringe and struggle every time God’s wrath seems too severe to me… as it often does in the Bible. But I think this makes me realize that sin is far more serious and deserving of God’s wrath than I realize. To take it a step further, remember that God had just shown mercy by not completely destroying all the people, because Moses pleaded for mercy. So, the Israelites deserved worse than this. We just read through all the elaborate rituals and sacrifices that the Israelites had to do in order to atone for their sins. And we read that Aaron and his sons had to follow the law’s instructions perfectly when they entered the Holy Place, or they would die. (Ch. 28 v. 35 and 43) The people if Israel could not touch mount Sinai when God met with Moses, or they would die. (Ch. 19:12-13) I think all these examples teach us just how holy and pure God is, and that sin can’t stand in his presence. How amazing it is, then, when we read in Mathew 27:51 that, when Jesus died, “the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” The veil that separated the Holy of Holies, the presence of God, from us, was torn wide open! Jesus makes all the difference! Because he has satisfied the wrath of God for us, we sinners are God’s children and can run into his presence with no fear.

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