In our previous post. We looked into 2 mistakes of Aaron

1st Mistake :  He did not rebuke Israel When they Sinned
2nd Mistake:  He built the golden calf

We have looked deeper into the golden calf and we have understood the significance of having the golden calf in our lives. 

Today if we are not vigilant in our service. We can create invisible Idols for ourselves. Jesus mentioned 2 types of Idols that could destroy our spiritual lives.

Mammon

“No one can serve two masters; for
  either he will hate the one and love
  the other, or else he will be loyal to
  the one and despise the other. You
  cannot serve God and mammon” – Jesus (Matt 6:24)

Money could become our idol and many will worship it. Many Christians will betray Christ for the sake of Money. That is when  money becomes their master and they are willing to betray friends and family for the sake of it. That is when we read of court cases where people sue their relatives and friends for money. What is worst is when one betray their souls for the sake of money.

That is why the bible tells us not to long for riches or be covetous. For that longing will lead us to use underhanded means to achieve riches. That is why we need to use wealth carefully and not allow money to rule over us. For it will lead us away from the truth and be ensnared by riches.

To idolise Someone Or To Become an Idol

There is another idol mentioned by Jesus

“Therefore, when you do a charitable deed,
  do not sound a trumpet before you as the
  hypocrites do in the synagogues and in
  the streets, that they may have glory from
  men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have
  their reward.

  And when you pray, you shall not be like the
  hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in
  the synagogues and on the corners of the streets,
  that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say
  to you, they have their reward.” – Jesus (Matt 6:2,5)

It is a good thing to do charity and perform charitable deeds. But one should never do it for the sake of getting praises and glory from men. For if we do so we create for ourselves an invisible Idol. On the worst scenario we made ourselves into an idol for others to worship.

Men had the tendency to worship an idol, someone whom they regard as great.  When there is no one greater than us, we would become an idol for others to worship.

These are 2 attitude that is against the teaching of God.  A man ought to fear God and not worship others. He must not allow himself to become an idol and an object of worship. He must have the heart to worship God and to give God the glory

The Example Of Jesus

For Jesus once taught us to worship God and to serve him only. Therefore whenever we idolize others in our service and to allow ourselves to become an idol. We have created an unseen idol and have went against God. We need to learn from the example of Jesus

“I do not receive honor from men.” – Jesus (Jn 5:41)

When Jesus performed the miracle to feed the 5000. (Read about it here Part 1, Part 2

There were many in Israel that idolized him, they wanted to give Jesus the highest honour and to force him to become their king..Jesus did not want glory from man but he was unable to stop them from idolising him. Therefore he refused them, he departed from them and he retreated to the mountain to pray.

The words  “I do not receive honor from men.” should be our motto in life as well. We cannot control the reaction of the others but we can control how we react to it. We can choose not to receive honour from man.

Let us not deceive ourselves saying that we are unable to do anything about it. Let us not deceive ourselves and think that the honour was a blessing from God. For if we glorify ourselves, we cannot give God the glory.

It is a contradiction and people who believe in God will always glorify God. For without God we are nothing. We have nothing to boast about and we have no reason to receive any glory.

That is why we must not idolize people or to make ourselves an object of worship.

The Example of Paul

Once Paul performed a miracle and healed a lame man. His action stirred the city. It stirred the city so much that they brought a calf to sacrifice to Paul. They even brought him flowers. How did Paul react to it?

Paul did not enjoy the moment and just be quiet.  Instead he tore his clothes and ran away crying out

“Men, why are you doing these
  things? We also are men with the same
  nature as you, and preach to you that you
  should turn from these useless things
to the living God, who made the heaven,
  the earth, the sea, and all things that are
  in them”- Paul (Acts 14:15-16)

In those day tearing of clothes is an expression of grieve, for how could these people do this that are against the word of God? Paul did not condone their actions or receive their worship, he instead reprimanded them and gave the glory to God.

A man who is faithful to God will never worship man nor will he accept worship from men. They will be careful when they serve God. They will not allow themselves to become an idol. Many workers o f god were not vigilant and they fell from faith. They ended up seeking man’s applause, praise and glory. For the sake of those they are even prepared to go against the teaching of God. 

Why Golden Calf and Not Some Other Animal?

Now lets take a step back and consider, why did the Israelites choose a golden calf? There are many other animals on earth, why not a lion?

A Lion is the king of the jungle, he will never be subjected to man. Perhaps the people are influenced by the Egyptians. The Egyptians are an agricultural society, to them, grain and herd are symbols of fertility. The ox is an important tool and a great help to the farmer. What is best about it is that he will only listen to your orders, and will not instruct you to do anything. He will not complain if you are a bad master

That is probably why they choose a calf to represent God. They wanted a God that can help them to do what they cannot do, but they did not want a God that will rule over their lives and they need to obey him. They wanted to make a god for themselves. Even though they called him the Lord, but their relationship with him is corrupted. He is no longer the Lord of their heart. they do not need to obey him or follow his instruction,

Today there are many Christians who claim to worship God, they called Jesus their Lord, but is he truly their Lord? They have made a golden calf in place of God, they wanted a God that will obey them.

Christians And The Bronze Bull Of Wall Street

On 29th Oct 2006, there was an incident of the golden calf in wall street. There was a lady Pastor who called for a day of prayer for the worlds economy. They choose the day of Oct 29 as Oct 29 1929 was the date of US Stock market crash that led to the great depression.

She claims that the Lord move her and told her that it will happen again. So she made a proclamation to pray for the word economy , he gathered Christians before the bronze bull of wall street to pray. They chose to pray at wall street as it is the financial centre.  They choose to pray at the bronze bull for it is a representation of a bullish market.

So they gathered before the bronze bull to pray and sing hymns. They told God that they did not want a bull or bear market, but they want lion market. For Jesus is the lion of Judah and he will not let the stock market crash.

As we are doing this, are we worshipping the golden calf? Are we turning people away from God?

 Jeroboam’s Golden Calf

But history tell us that it is away repeating itself. Aaron builds a golden calf, later on in time there was 2 other golden calf constructed. they are created 500 years later after the kingdom of Israel broke away from the Kingdom of Judah.

The first king of Israel, Jeroboam, constructed 2 golden calves. They are recorded in 1 Kings 12:25-33. The two calves are found in Bethel and Dan, in the northern end and the southern end of his kingdom. When he finished them he made the same proclamation

“It is too much for you to
  go up to Jerusalem. Here
  are your gods, O Israel,
  which brought you up
  from the land of Egypt!”- Jeroboam (1 King 12:28)

He did not want the Israelites to go to Jerusalem to worship God, they only need to stay within his kingdom and worship the calves. They are representative of God. Didn’t he know about the history of Aaron and the golden calf? Why did they allow history to repeat itself.

they do so for they feel their hidden agenda is more important. In order to achieve their motives to be independent form Israel, they are willing to go against God. They pretend to say that they have not forgotten God, for the calf is called the Lord , he is the one who brought them out from Egypt.

Perhaps they feel that their motives are right, it is out of a good will. They have not change their faith for they still believe in the Lord God. But they are in fact deceiving themselves, thinking that they have done nothing wrong.

They claim to have faith in God but they did not want to go down to Jerusalem for worship. Today there are people who think that as long as you believe in God, it doesn’t matter how you worship him. They believe they are obeying the word of God even if they worship at home away from church.

But God had instructed us to gather an worship. Unless we are not Christians and we do not believe in the word of Jesus. Than we do not need to follow it. There are many who are not careful in serving God. They wanted to achieve their own agenda and they ended up making golden calves for others to follow.

Let us not rejoice when the calf is destroyed. For the next golden calf will come, let us not be alarm by it. For history will always repeat itself. there will be new golden calves that will appear. WE need to know who our real master is, we need to consider if Jesus is still our Lord.

If you believe in him, you will listen to him. You will choose to follow Jesus and not anyone else.  Let us not follow the world or emulate it.

Conclusion

So far we have look at the mistake of Aaron building the golden calf. WE knew that his first mistake is not to rebuke Israel for sin then we look at the 2 idols that could potentially destroy our faith. finally we look at the reason why man create idols for themselves. We are also aware that History will repeat itself.

We will continue our study on the next part. 

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