Symbolization: The Golden Calf or Waiting on God?

Original Entry Date 11/27/2012: Moses has just been given the Law of the Covenant from God and now he is being sent to pass it on to the people of Israel. At the beginning of Exodus 24 God is calling Moses, Aaron, Aaron’s two sons and 70 elders to come up closer to Him. He wants them to worship Him from afar BUT He calls Moses to come NEAR HIM; just Moses and no one else (Joshua is also mentioned as going up with Moses later on).
Exodus 24:1-3 NCV:
The Lord told Moses, “You, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel must come up to me and worship me from a distance. 2 Then Moses alone must come near me; the others must not come near. The rest of the people must not come up the mountain with Moses.”

This an illustration of how God will call His people to a HIGHER place; to begin a journey upwards into a higher level within His Spirit and in His Presence.
Moses now reads the Law of the Covenant to the people.
Exodus 24:4-8 NCV:
Moses told the people all the Lord’s words and laws for living. Then all of the people answered out loud together, “We will do all the things the Lord has said.” 4 So Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. And he got up early the next morning and built an altar near the bottom of the mountain. He set up twelve stones, one stone for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 Then Moses sent young Israelite men to offer whole burnt offerings and to sacrifice young bulls as fellowship offerings to the Lord. 6 Moses put half of the blood of these animals in bowls, and he sprinkled the other half of the blood on the altar. 7 Then he took the Book of the Agreement and read it so the people could hear him. And they said, “We will do everything that the Lord has said; we will obey.”

8 Then Moses took the blood from the bowls and sprinkled it on the people, saying, “This is the blood that begins the Agreement, the Agreement which the Lord has made with you about all these words.”

The people of Israel acknowledge before God that they will abide in His Law that has been sent forth; Moses seals the Covenant by sprinkling them all with blood.

Moses and the others begin their trek up to their higher calling with God.

Exodus 24: 9-11 NCV:
9 Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up the mountain 10 and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was a surface that looked as if it were paved with blue sapphire stones, and it was as clear as the sky! 11 These leaders of the Israelites saw God, but God did not destroy them. Then they ate and drank together.

What an experience that would have been! To go up Higher into God, to see the beautiful sapphire beneath His feet, and to dine with Him!! WOW!!
Now God calls Moses to come up higher, to literally step into His Presence.
Exodus 24:12- 18 NCV:
The Lord said to Moses, “Come up the mountain to me. Wait there, and I will give you two stone tablets. On these are the teachings and the commands I have written to instruct the people.”

13 So Moses and his helper Joshua set out, and Moses went up to Sinai, the mountain of God. 14 Moses said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are with you, and anyone who has a disagreement with others can take it to them.”
15 When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it. 16 The glory of the Lord came down on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from inside the cloud. 17 To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a fire burning on top of the mountain. 18 Then Moses went into the cloud and went higher up the mountain. He was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights

Take note of how God called Moses to come up the mountain, His glory comes down in a cloud onto the top, but then God has Moses wait an additional 6 days before actually inviting him into His Presence. Nowhere does it say Moses got fed up with waiting and stormed off but rather He patiently waited on God. This is the example we need to follow when we are waiting for God.

While God is giving Moses the 10 Commandments along with the instructions for building the Tabernacle, the people become impatient. Let’s jump to
Exodus 32:1-8 NKJV: Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”

2 And Aaron said to them, “Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. 4 And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf.

Then they said, “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!”

5 So when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord.” 6 Then they rose early on the next day, offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

7 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. 8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’

Israel sure was quick in having a change of heart, going from being totally devoted to following God’s Covenant to turning completely away from it. They lacked patience and within 40 days, all recollection of the miracles God did to free them from Egypt had been forgotten.
It can be VERY easy to lose patience when we are waiting for God to move in our lives, but we have to remember all that He has done for us and WILL DO for us.

God does make us wait as a method to test our faith. The number 40 can symbolize a time of testing amongst other things. Here is a study note and definition for FORTY pulled from the Zondervan Bible Dictionary:
forty. A frequently mentioned number in the Bible, often having symbolical significance. It was used as the approximate time span of a generation and to designate an extended period of testing, repentance, vigil, or punishment. It is associated with important new developments in the unfolding drama of redemption, such as the flood, the exodus, the united monarchy, Elijah and the prophetic era, the life of Christ, and the birth of the church

Let’s not forget what the testing of our faith produces within us:
James 1:2-4 AMP:
2 Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. 3 Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.

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