Jenkins: Dangers of the Golden Calf; the calf just doesn’t happen

Editor’s note: This is the second installment in a series of columns on Exodus chapter 32.

By Dave Jenkins Jr.
Inside The Pew

In Exodus Chapter 32 we see the dangers of falling prey to the Golden Calf syndrome. The Golden Calf represents our attempts to do what only God can do. The next danger of theDave Jenkins Jr Golden Calf is that the calf just doesn’t happen.

Aaron was afraid of the faces and voices of the people in the absence of Moses. A lot of times the second in command thinks that he/she can do what God’s appointed leader can do, all they think they need is a chance.

When a leader is anointed they make it look so easy. They seem to be able to stop a speeding financial crisis and leap dangerous traps with a single bound. So, when the second has his/her chance to act, they sometimes find out what looks easy from the outside is actually a very prayerful and skillful balancing act.

Thus, when the faces and tones of the voices became menacing – Aaron did what any poor leader would do, he folded like a cheap tent. What the people needed was direction and he gave them sinful satisfaction.

In Exodus 21, Moses asks Aaron the accountability question, “what did they do to you to cause you to lead them in the wrong direction?” Aaron takes the next couple of verses to blame the people and indirectly he blames Moses. However he lays the final blame at the feet of “it just happened.”  Look at his explanation in verse 24. However, in verse 35, God declares that Aaron made the calf. If you are going to lead, it must be God’s purpose that leads you and not the voice of confused people or the result will be a Golden Calf.

The biggest danger of the Golden Calf is to get things back in order, drastic action must be taken. Aaron and the people had allowed things to get wildly out of control. To get things back in order Moses had to take drastic action.

Because of the nature of the mistake and the way that the majority of the people had embraced the Golden Calf as their new god, Moses could not just send out a memo. Where Aaron was weak, Moses was stern and to the point. He knew the importance of this moment.  It was not just about the temporal comfort of the people but their eternal destiny. Something had to “GO” and in Moses’s eyes it was the Golden Calf and those who were now foolishly aligned with it.

Moses next decision was not an easy one. He called for faithful men and then instructed them to kill every man near the “gate.” Even if that man was your friend or brother he had to be killed no exceptions. Why those near the gate? It could have been they were telling anyone who passed by about the false god and not the true God.

The action Moses took was similar to what the skier whose arm was trapped under a boulder had to do. The skier knew that he could not move the boulder and if he stayed pinned by the boulder he would eventually freeze to death. So he made the decision to live – with one arm. He began the process of cutting off the arm that was trapped under the boulder. It was not an easy choice but it was the only way that he could survive.

On that day 3,000 men lost their lives. The body could only move forward when the infected part had been removed.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

Dave Jenkins Jr. is an ordained minister and leadership and relationship teacher. Jenkins, a former chaplain for the Allen (Texas) Police Department, is a graduate of Grambling State University in Grambling, La., and earned a master’s of Christian leadership from Criswell College in Dallas. He also received advanced counseling training from Amberton University. Jenkins and his wife, Phyllis, are hosts of their own weekly family relationships show, “Marriage Monday,” on KGGR 1040 at 5 p.m. CST. Follow him on Twitter at @IamDaveJenkins and “like” him on Facebook (IamDaveJenkinsJr). Learn more about his ministry at www.davejenkinsjr.com.

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