God gave us the old testament and the nation of Israel as Examples as we can see in I Corinthians 10:5-11
“ But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”
I know that you are wondering about the last time you saw someone make a golden calf, or as I like to call it a “holy cow”, and worship it. As we look at what the people did a bit closer it may just hit home a little more. The people did not rid them selves of the true God, they just added to their so called worship of Him. In chapter 32 and verses 5-6 Aaron sets up their holy cow and simultaneously calls for a feast to the Lord. So they never actually abandoned God; they just reverted back to their old life after He had saved them from Egypt. They wanted God, but they wanted the world. They didn’t want to give up on the one who helped them in time of need, but at the same time they did not want to give their complete lives to Him. They began to sync idolatry and true worship as if they were syncing an I-pod. The term “to eat, drink and rose to play” has deeper meaning than a game of Monopoly in verse six. The Hebrew language suggests a drunken orgy, which was not uncommon for the nations that surrounded them. They wanted the world and God.
Aaron, in my view, is a perfect picture of most of the spiritual leadership in Christianity today. The people cried out to Aaron for what they wanted instead of crying out to know what God wanted. We have leaders that are tickling the ears of the listener’s today, especially in the United States. The true un-adulterated Word of God is too narrow, too constricting and too hard; so, folks find someone who will preach, teach and lead in a way that is more in line with their lifestyles. Then just throw the name of Jesus in it somewhere and call it worship, but it is evil and leads to destruction. The bottom line is that fact that we have a conscience decision that has to be made, much as the question that Joshua posed to the people “Choose this day whom you will serve; but for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” Elijah put this question to the people in the same way when he asked the people if they would serve God or serve Baal. Our example, as written in I Corinthians, is quite clear: Are we in, or are we out? There is no middle ground, no gray areas and no fence walking.
What are our “holy cows?” do we have them? What have we added to the Christian life in order to make it more palatable to our sinful lifestyle. The golden calf may seem outrageous, but we all have seen folks making things of this world a priority while moving God to the back burner of the stove. We simply cannot have both; and those who think that they can will be greatly disappointed. There will be no excuse when we stand before Him. Our excuses will be worse than Aaron’s when he said “I placed the gold in the fire and a calf came out.” Imagine that, a calf just popped out of the fire.