Moses Blames Aaron For Making The Golden Calf

After Lee’s surrender, Lincoln spoke to a large crowd from the balcony of the White House. At the end of his speech, Senator Harlan asked, “What shall we do with the rebels?” The vindictive crowd shouted back, “Hang them!” Tad, then 11 yrs old, turned to his f … More

Mercy

Moses tries to get God to change his mind (v. 11). While, still on the mountain, Moses heard that his people had sinned, but he did not seek to justify their actions. However, he pleaded with God for mercy and to not destroy the people (vv. 12-13). He reminded God of his promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that someday they would have as many descendants as the stars in the sky. Because of Moses prayer, God changed His previously announced plans of destroying all the people (v. 14). Moses goes back down the mountain carrying the two flat stones containing the written laws on both sides (vv. 15-16).

Soon Joshua hears the noisy shouts of the people and thinks there must be a battle going on (v. 17). Moses tells him it doesn’t sound like shouting because they have won a battle but instead they are singing wildly (v, 18). Upon returning to the camp and viewing the obvious idolatry and drunkenness Moses did three things:

1. He smashed the tablets of the law (v. 19) - He was angry, so he threw the stones down and smashed them. This symbolized the people’s breaking of the covenant.

2. He burned the idol, reduced it to powder and spread it on their water supply (mountain stream) (v. 20) - By making the people drink the water it showed the people they had to bear the consequences of their sin.

3. He asked Aaron to give an account of what had happened (vv. 21-24) - It is interesting to note that Aaron blamed the people and then lied claiming the idol “just happened.”

Application

My prayers need to be more for mercy than for judgment. Moses prayed to spare the people and God’s answer shows how He responds to the individuals’ needs, attitudes and actions.

Exodus 32:11-24 (English Standard Version)

But Moses implored the LORD his God and said, "O LORD, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, 'With evil intent did he bring them out, to kill them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth'? Turn from your burning anger and relent from this disaster against your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, 'I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your offspring, and they shall inherit it forever.'" And the LORD relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people. Then Moses turned and went down from the mountain with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, tablets that were written on both sides; on the front and on the back they were written. The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets. When Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, "There is a noise of war in the camp." But he said, "It is not the sound of shouting for victory, or the sound of the cry of defeat, but the sound of singing that I hear." And as soon as he came near the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, Moses' anger burned hot, and he threw the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. He took the calf that they had made and burned it with fire and ground it to powder and scattered it on the water and made the people of Israel drink it. And Moses said to Aaron, "What did this people do to you that you have brought such a great sin upon them?" And Aaron said, "Let not the anger of my lord burn hot. You know the people, that they are set on evil. For they said to me, 'Make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.' So I said to them, 'Let any who have gold take it off.' So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf."

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