By: Ely Lagajino
“…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 (NKJV)
Again God asks Moses to go up on Mount Sinai accompanied by Joshua. In six days, they wait on God’s instructions. A time for self-examination through prayer. On Sabbath, Moses enters the clouds where he stays for forty days and forty nights, with Joshua behind.
God will give him the two tables of stones and instruct him about the sanctuary and its services. (PP p. 330,331)
Moses appoints Aaron and Hur to be the leader during his absence. After several weeks without Moses the mixed multitude murmur and suggest to go back to Egypt. Later they return to their old superstitious beliefs. They want a god in the form of a cow to guide them. Those who oppose the idea are killed.
The mixed multitude command Aaron to make a golden bull. Aaron hesitates, but he fears for his safety. When the people see the finished product, they shout for joy and revelry. When Aaron hears them praising him, he makes an additional insult to God by creating an idol altar. Then he delivers a privilege speech announcing that the festival for the god will be celebrated tomorrow.
When Moses and Joshua go down, they find the people praising and dancing around the image. In his anger Moses throws the tables of stones to the golden bull. Then he casts the idol into the fire and confronted Aaron and the people.
Moses asks the people, “who is on the Lord’s side? Those who did not participate must stay on the right while those willing to repent must remain on his left hand. Moses observes that the members of the tribe of Levi did not join in idol worship, but the members of the mixed multitude show continuous rebellion.
God commands Moses to execute judgment. Three thousand men and unnumbered women receive their final sentence.
God honors the tribe of Levi for their faithfulness by appointing them as Sanctuary priests. God passes judgment on those who did not repent that they may not lead others to destruction. God forgives those who willingly repent including Aaron.