Moses has been up in the mountain to be in the presence of the Lord for a long time, the Israelite feared he was not returning.
The people, still new in relationship with God, had seen Moses as a tangible representation of God. They are still learning to worship the one and only God. (Recall they had many gods in Egypt.
Did they began to worship and idolize Moses. The people needed something to replace what Moses may have represented to them, calling for a creation of the golden calf.
Possible God did not intend for one person to speak for Him forever. It can be corruptible, easily. Example, Moses struck the stone a second time to provide water, on his own direction, rather by God’s direction. The act became about Moses. Other example where a single high priest can be corruptible: cults.
In making the new idol, the people were not looking to replace God, but replacing Moses.
The golden calf was fashioned out of the gold the Israelite had taken from Egypt, the provisions of wealth God has blessed them with. The calf was made of thing that served as a reminder of God’s blessings.
We have examples of where our relationship with God becomes corruptible. Look at the flags of nations. We have many. Do the nations and the people automatically translate a bad. No, but it can be corruptible.
Family: who doesn’t love their family. But it is not God and family.
Slogans: Faith, Family, and Football.
Sports: People get emotionally invested in sports. Sport inherently is not bad, but they can compete for our attention and allegiance.
Prosperity: Temptation to fall for a gospel of prosperity, the belief that God wants us to prosper, you focus on comfort. Becomes the road block to helping and serving others.
Rights: stringently hold on to rights, we are owed things. Can be divisive, focused on self.
In the end, remember it is not God and xxxxx (in Exodus, God and Moses). We cannot have two masters! We are to worship God alone – no other Gods. Moses is not fundamentally bad. Family, Slogans, Family, Sports, Prosperity, and Right – all not fundamentally bad alone, but they cannot become our idols. Cannot be worshiped. Cannot be worshiped alongside God.
Israelite were trying to replace Moses, whom they worshiped alongside God.
We have things in our lives we are tempted to worship: Family, Sports, Prosperity, etc.
The Israelite have been led out of oppression in Egypt, led into the wilderness.
There was a need for order. God calls on Moses, who goes up the mountain to commune with God.
God gives rules to Moses to extend to the people – 10 Commandments.
The following pertain to our relationship with God.
Honor God alone. There are not other gods. Note: through all assimilation, false gods were introduced and created for many situations. This was a struggle to deal with then, as today.
Do make an idol; do not worship idols. Tends to reflect how you want God to appear, and do for you. Can be viewed as a reflection of self.
Do not use the name of the Lord.
Remember the Sabbath; keep it holy: we are created to produce and work. We need rest – that’s what society wants of us.
Commandments about our conduct:
Honor your mother and father
You shall not murder (do not take a life)
Do not commit adultery – any sexual relations/conduct outside the confines of marriage.
Do not steal.
Shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Learn to get along with your neighbor (all people).
Do not covet your neighbor’s possession. Learn to be happy with what you have. If there’s something you want, work for it.
Moses gives the Israelite the Commandments – to test and put the fear in the people so they do not sin. Why would God do this?
Give visual of God’s holiness – clouds and fire. They witness God’s power.
God wanted them to follow rules – one that will benefit them.
If they live by these rules, they live towards what they were meant to be.
Because of sin, we are always faced with temptation, which can be consuming, leading to destruction. God provide the 10 Commandments to remind us of the sin’s destructive consequence.
10 Commandments are like a survival guide. Do not look at the 10 Commandments are rules that can become a checklist with religious acts, but rather a guideline. We live them and become transformed into what God meant us to be.
As we live by this – we live as a community.
Why they are rules, view the Commandments are guidelines – teach you how to live, to lead you to what God for us.
They provide order, safety.
Take us toward deeper truth – that we are meant to be God’s children.