"Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands." Psalm 115:4
Text: Exodus 32
THE LURE OF IDOLATRY
It seems strange that the children of Israel should be so easily lured by idols. How could they even say, “Come, make us gods” (Exodus 32:1)? The request is almost absurd, if we were to consider the following facts:-
1. They bore witness of the powerlessness of the many gods of Egypt
The children of Israel had lived in Egypt for more than four hundred years, since the time when Joseph was governor of the land! There they became acquainted with the many idols that their Egyptian neighbours worshiped! They could have been influenced by what they had seen. But they had also witnessed an important fact. All the gods of Egypt were powerless against the God of Israel!
2. They witnessed the power of God unleashed against Egypt no less than ten times
One after the other, plagues fell upon the land of Egypt! The power of God was so real and awesome, that even the magicians and sorcerers of the land, had to admit that the plagues came from “the finger of God” (Cf. Exodus 8:19).
3. They witnessed the very real protection of God in the pillars of cloud and light
The children of Israel had daily reminders of the reality of the presence of the Lord. A pillar of cloud protected them from the merciless rays of the noonday sun in the wilderness. A pillar of fire protected them in the night from wild animals or would-be marauders (Cf. Exodus 13:21).
4. They witnessed the special provision of the Lord
Daily the Lord would provide them manna (Cf. Exodus 16:35). Daily the Lord would also provide them water (Cf. Exodus 17:1-7).
5. They witnessed the special revelation of God at Mount Sinai
One of the most remarkable experiences that Israel was privileged to have was to hear the voice of God personally and directly. Terror assailed them as they listened to the mighty voice of the Lord speaking to them from the mountain (Cf. Exodus 19:18).
6. They had heard God forbidding the making of idols for worship
The second commandment was clear and specific. No idols to represent God were to be made (Cf. Exodus 20:4).
7. They had made a covenant with God to walk in His ways
Just before Moses ascended up Mount Sinai, the children of Israel were given a special Covenant. The Book of the Covenant that Moses wrote was read to all assembled. The Blood of the Covenant was sprinkled on the people as well (Cf. Exodus 24:7-8). How could they have uttered the words, “Come, make us gods”?