A Cow…Really?

*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?


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jamie Carter says:

    If I’m not mistaken, the ancient Minoan Civilization worshiped bulls. The Epic of Gilgamesh featured it’s heroes fighting the Great Bull of Heaven. The Canaanites’ deities were associated with bulls which represented their power and fertility. Greek Mythology gives us the Minotaur, a half-bull and half-man being who dwells in the labyrinth. In the Roman mystery cold of Mithraism, it features a sacrificial bull. Even the Egyptian pantheon included Apis, a bull-god. Even today, cows are a sacred animal in Hinduism. As modern people who are greatly removed from these ancient cultures, we can easily misunderstand what was important to them by substituting our own ideas and understanding. Each culture saw something – perhaps some representation of some ideal or belief that was important to them. Power, fertility, strength, provision, might, some of these things could be how Aaron saw God and he chose to represent Him to the people.


    1. You’re absolutely right. Many cultures have and still do value the cow for one reason or another. It is simply hard to see why when you grow up eating cheeseburgers, herdings them around and going to rodeos. So it seems silly to my culture but, we have things that are equally pathetic as gods. Anthything we place above God in our lives and hearts we’ve made a fod for ourselves. For example, yesterday instead of getting this post written as I promised God I would do I spent most of my time watching a movie. That movie can’t save me from the eternity I deserve in Hell and it can’t walk with me to conquer over the really hard times in life. Most of all it doesn’t care about my heart the way Jesus does. He will rejoice when I rejoice and weep when I weep. No matter what value earth’s cultures place on thier gods they are equally pathetic in comparison. It would have been just as true to bring up some other god we consider in the U.S. to have been powerful at least in myth like Zues…Really? And then go on and on about why he fell leagues short of of the Creator of the universe, was an abomination to worship and sacrifice to but, yes he was culturally and is historically important to a fairly large group of people. I think my response would be a lot like Hulk’s to Loki in the first avenger movie. Put it thriugh the test of holding up against any kind of hard time or abuse. Then walk away saying, “puny god.” When I watched that in theaters most people laughed. I secretly believe it’s because they knew it was true. Loki could do amazing things beyond our powers but in the grand scale he was just as pathetic as any other fraudulent god that came before him.


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