Day 30

The Gold Calf

from the Exodus reading plan

Exodus 32:1-35, 1 Kings 12:26-28, 1 Corinthians 10:6-7

BY Scarlet Hiltibidal

Did you know that TikTok tracks how many videos you’ve watched on the app? I regret to inform you that I discovered this in the settings. It is with deep sadness that I also regret to inform you that every one of those dumb videos you watch is tallied up, even if your username is “User8723098439823094802348” and your picture is a gray circle. 

In today’s reading, we read about God’s people worshiping idols while Moses had his ten commandment tablet moment with God. I remember being a kid, hearing this story in Sunday School, and wondering how the Israelites could be so stupid. Like, don’t you guys know that God’s finger is writing on a rock your friend, Moses, is holding right now? Why are you obsessed with a statue? 

It can seem absurd to read some of the sins recorded in these ancient cultures, but man—how similarly strange are the things we value through our countless tally of views each day?

I’m not anti-video-clip. I’m not boycotting Netflix. But, if the best part of my day is watching a girl get her hair highlighted with some synth behind it in my headphones…that sounds almost as absurd as exalting a gold calf. 

In 1 Corinthians 10:6–7, Paul warns the people of Corinth not to be idolaters. And then, it reads, the people ate, drank, and partied. It seems we never learn.

Worshiping power or money or comfort or cows made out of melted jewelry leads to discontentment, increased exhaustion, and heartache. But, the beautiful thing is, we have Someone better to give our attention to. Jesus can captivate us. Jesus has erased our offenses. He can heal us, lead us, and comfort us when life hurts too much. When spending time with Jesus is the best part of my day, I feel rested, whole and purposeful, and content. 

Tonight, when you’re winding down with that Texan beekeeper who shares videos of bees being transported to new hives (I have found myself in some strange rabbit holes), take a break and return to God’s Word. Even if you already have that morning. See what He reveals to you and puts in your heart. Jesus is the One worthy of our worship, attention, and affection. Let’s give it to Him.

Post Comments (55)

55 thoughts on "The Gold Calf"

  1. Donna Wolcott says:

    Just wanted to share I haven’t been on the site much these past 10 days but have been at an annual Christian camp meeting in CT. Ten days of fellowship, bible study, music, vespers, missions and so much more. We are multi-denominational. Camp was founded in 1865. Our theme for the week was “Authentic Faith”, which can look a little different for each depending on faith traditions, but central is the Bible. Camp is called Bethel and as you leave the grounds a sign reads, “Mizpah”, May the Lord watch between thee and me while we are absent one from another. Blessings sisters.

  2. Susie says:

    Hey Dorothy,

    Your question is so cute… Lol!
    All she means is that she started watching other people’s videos, and it is sad if that was the highlight of her day.
    But you could apply the same philosophy to anything-reading, shopping, discontent, and the list could go on forever. Anything that we put before God becomes an idol.

    Hope this helps!

  3. Dorothy says:

    Okay sisters, those of you that are younger or more familiar with the lingo of this generation would you please interrupt this phrase for me, “if the best part of my day is watching a girl get her hair highlighted with some synth behind it in my headphones”. Thanks.

    In today’s scripture to scriptures caught my eye that I hadn’t noticed in the past, this is Aaron talking to Moses “When they brought it to me, I simply threw it into the fire—and out came this calf!” (v24). It’s like Aaron is saying it was magic. I never really caught that in the other times I’ve noticed this part of the scripture. (I even had to chuckle a little.) Then verses: “25 Moses saw that Aaron had let the people get completely out of control, much to the amusement of their enemies. 26 So he stood at the entrance to the camp and shouted, “All of you who are on the Lord’s side, come here and join me.” And all the Levites gathered around him. 27 Moses told them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Each of you, take your swords and go back and forth from one end of the camp to the other. Kill everyone—even your brothers, friends, and neighbors.” 28 The Levites obeyed Moses’ command, and about 3,000 people died that day. 29 Then Moses told the Levites, “Today you have ordained yourselves for the service of the Lord, for you obeyed him even though it meant killing your own sons and brothers. Today you have earned a blessing.”” I just wondered what the rest of the community was thinking at this time.
    In my devotional Bible is a prayer right after verses 9 and 10 that I would like to share. When I read it, it was like God speaking to me because right now I am dealing with a lot with my sister. I’m finding out bits and pieces of information through other people, either other family members or close friends. So after I finish here I’ll be heading out to not only check on her and her cat but talk with her nurses and possibly look at her medical chart. There so many things I want to say to her but I know I need to use the proper wording. Here’s the prayer —- “DEAR GOD, Give Your daughter peace in the waiting and joy in the preparation for everything You have to give her. Give her wisdom to know when to wait and when to take action. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
    Sisters be blessed and know God is there for you every second of the day.

  4. Bev says:

    What kind of faith do we/I have?
    The Israelites “see it to believe it” faith (v1)?
    Or Moses “trusting in everything I know about God and His character” (v11-13)?

    I hope that every day I have the courage to do what is right, but not necessarily popular.

  5. Lexi B says:

    What stuck most with me was Aaron in the aftermath of all this. He helped in this big sin against God. Yet he still got to serve in the tabernacle as high priest. Imagine how he felt after this all went down, probably hesitant to enter the tabernacle, feeling unworthy. Maybe wondering if God still loved him the same. Yet, God still meets him, with mercy and love.
    When I sin, I often get it wrong, thinking God could possibly not love me after the things I’ve done. Yet time and time again, He shows that He is not a God that is out to get me and only sees my sin. He is a God of love, mercy and only wants His best for me.

  6. Lorrie Davis says:

    Such a powerful reminder to watch where the tallies of my time and energy accrue!

  7. Terri Baldwin says:

    Amen! Always give thanks to our Lord!

  8. Lynnette Golden says:

    As i read this passage for the umpteenth time (i love Exodus) i tripped again on 32:33 – “erase from my book”. I need to chase this rabbit. As i live under the grace of my Lord and Savior i find this hard to understand.

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