*image originated here
Exodus 31 – 36
If the title question comes across as insensitive, it’s meant to be. This is one cultural difference I will never understand. Perhaps it’s that these other cultures have vastly different cows from the ones I know but, I sincerely doubt it. A cow is a fairly stupid, ugly looking, and smelly animal that can’t even walk down stairs. Yes, here Israelites this creature that can’t even walk down stairs just freed you from Egypt’s 400-year hold on you and killed the Pharoah with his entire army on your behalf! God was angry about this sin and basically nearly decided not to go forward with the Israelites at all. Moses was so angry that he rallied the few who did still care what God thought and went on a killing spree. The Bible says about 3,000 died that day in the camp and Moses said God blessed the ones who did the killing! What kind of insanity is this?!?! In the United States, we may not understand worshiping the golden statue of a cow but, we put a lot of other things before God. It may be ourselves, our families, our hopes, our dreams, our money, our vanity, our pride, and there are so much more.
We get a little glimpse of just how horrible this sin is when Moses goes back to get a new set of the Ten Commandments from God after he breaks them in his anger. Moses spends another 40 days and 40 nights with God while he is receiving the covenant for Israel. God shows Himself to Moses but, only shows him His back side so that Moses won’t die from seeing the full Glory of God. Coming away from this experience Moses’ face shines with such radiance he has to wear a veil over his face when speaking with the other Israelites. God again agrees to go with them and the people bring more than enough for the skilled workmen and women, called by God, to build His tabernacle.
What things are we placing before God today that need to be torn down?
What understanding do we gain from knowing that our God is so holy that to see Him in its fulness would kill us?