The people saw that a long time had passed and Moses had not come down from the mountain. So they gathered around Aaron. They said to him, “look, Moses led us out of the land of Egypt, but we don’t know what has happened to him. So make us some gods to go before us and lead us.”
What happened to Moses?
Moses journey through Egypt with the Israelite Is still one of my favorite bible Story. The man Moses is like you and I, he had his personal issues.
Moses grew up in a place he didn’t belong, killed an Egyptian to save his people, he was accused of murder, he fled away for safety, and he ended up married. Destiny was happening to him, but Moses had flaws, he stammered when he spoke.
He had an uncontrollable anger, he had low self-esteem and he was fighting to feel among.
But God picked Interest in Moses, when he needed someone to lead his people He choose Moses.
The Golden Calf
Meanwhile Moses was in the mountain retreating in the presence of God, while his people were trying to replace God. Aaron said to the people,”Bring me the gold earrings that belong to your wives, sons, and daughters.”
So the people collected all their gold earrings and brought them to Aaron. He took the gold from the people and used It to make an Idol. Using a special tool, he shaped the gold into a statue of a calf.
Then the people in excitement exclaimed, “Israel, here are your gods! These are the gods that brought you out of the land of Egypt!” Ever read the full story of this journey and you are like, “really guys, really? After everything God has done for you, we are still here!” Don’t be to quick to judge, we are still like the Israelite.
Aaron saw all these things, so he built an altar In front of the calf. Then Aaron made an announcement. He said, “Tomorrow will be a special festival to honor the Lord.”
The people woke up early the next morning. They killed animals and offered them as burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. They sat to eat and drink. Then they got up and had a wild party. Humans! These are the same people Moses went to God to plead for.
Moses In The Secret Place
At the same time, the Lord said to Moses,”Go down from this mountain. Your people, the people you brought out of the land of Egypt, have committed a terrible sin. They have very quickly turned away from what I commanded them to do.”
“They made a calf from melted gold for themselves, worshiping that calf and making sacrifices to it. The people have said, “Israel, these are the gods that led you out of Egypt.” Can you see the heart of God, the same God who can give up on man, was reporting them to his servant Moses. Just like with Abraham God trusted Moses. What makes Moses case very peculiar is that he still had obvious flaws.
God called the Israelite ‘Moses people’ he was disappointed in his own creation. The problem is most times we forget God has feelings when we want to do wrong, or maybe it’s just that we expect him to understand our condition, I mean He is God, ‘the all knowing’!
The Lord said to Moses, “I have seen these people, and I know that they are very stubborn. They will always turn against me. So now let me destroy them in anger. Then I will make a great nation from you.” I might have flopped here If I was Moses, God gave him a chance to chose self, God literally told Moses he will destroy the World and make a generation from him. God found the same man with anger Issues worth destroying a nation for.
Moses Pleads For His People
But Moses begged the Lord his God, “Lord, don’t let your anger destroy your people. You brought them out of Egypt with your great power and strength. But if you destroy your people, the Egyptians will say, ‘God planned to do bad things to his people. That is why he led them out of Egypt. He wanted to kill them in the mountains. He wanted to wipe them off the earth.’ So don’t be angry with your people. Please change your mind! Don’t destroy them. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. These men served you, and you used your name to make a promise to them. You said, ‘I will make your people as many as the stars in the sky. I will give your people all this land as I promised. This land will be theirs forever.’”
The Lord listened to Moses and felt sorry for His creation. He did not do what he said he might do, he did not destroy them. The same God who is all knowing, listened to Moses plea and spared the people.
Then Moses went down the mountain. He had the two stone tablets with the agreement on them. The commandments were written on both sides of the stone, front and back. God himself made the stones, and God himself wrote the commandments on them.
Joshua heard the noise from the party in camp. He said to Moses, “It sounds like war down in the camp!”
What Happened To Moses?
Moses answered, “It is not the noise of an army shouting for victory. And it is not the noise of an army crying from defeat. The noise I hear is the sound of music. Moses was about to experience and feel what God felt, he was about to see the people In their true form.
When Moses came near the camp, he saw the golden calf and the people dancing. He became very angry, and he threw the stone tablets on the ground. The stones broke into several pieces at the bottom of the mountain. Then Moses destroyed the calf that the people had made. He melted It In the fire. Then he ground the gold until It became dust and threw It Into the water. Then he forced the Israelite to drink that water.
What really happened to Moses? He saw man in his true form, the same Moses who pleaded on behalf of the people got to the point where he couldn’t take It at all. After consulting Aaron, Moses was so disappointed In the people that he made them kill each other. He killed the same people he asked God to spare. Moses lost control over his emotions. There are things only God in his infinite mercy can overlook. God listened to Moses, he consulted Moses before making a final decision.
But here we see Moses take out actions without speaking to God, once again his anger overpowered him, and he forgot the conversation he had with God!
Then Moses said to them, “I will tell you what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Every man must get his sword and go from one end of the camp to the other. You men must kill those who are against the Lord, even If they are your brothers, friends, or neighbors.’”
The people from the tribe of Levi obeyed Moses. That day about 3000 of the people died. Then Moses said, “Take your role today as special servants of the Lord because you were willing to fight against even your own sons and brothers. You will receive a blessing for this.” Moses did this out of anger and disappointment. Moses couldn’t do what he asked God to do. Took out judgement on his own before going back to God! What really happened to Moses?
The next morning Moses told the people, “You have committed a terrible sin! But now I will go up to the Lord, and maybe I can do something so that he will forgive you for your sin.” So Moses went back to the Lord and said, “Please listen! These people committed a terrible sin and made a god from gold. Now, forgive them of this sin. If you will not forgive them, then erase my name from your book. Moses!
But the Lord said to Moses, “The only people I erase from my book are those who sin against me. So now, go down and lead the people where I tell you to go. My angel will go before you and lead you. When the time comes to punish those who sinned, they will be punished.” So the Lord caused a terrible sickness to come to the people. He did this because they told Aaron to make the golden calf.
Many times we ask God to have mercy, to forgive the same sins we are not willing to forgive. To do things we can’t do for others, and to love us when we are struggling to love others. I was talking to my Pastor and friend, he said something that stayed with me;
What happened to Moses still happens to most of us. The lifestyle of the Israelite Is still some of our daily habit but I can’t remember God condemning us. God is kind, God is love, He is mercy, He is a faithful God. I hope the world lose It grip on us, so we can see from the lens of God’s eyes. Now I understand David, when he choose to be punished by God rather than man. What happened to Moses can happen to any of us!
Fun fact: If I was the one leading the Israelite I would have sacrificed them to God a long time ago. I can’t!
I love the easy to read version, It’s just easy to chew and digest. Read Here: https://www.bible.com/bible/406/exo32, what about you?