Thursday, September 30, 2021
“And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt” (Exodus 32:4 KJV).
Why is calf-worship so prevalent in Holy Scripture?
Thrice more God refers to Israel’s calf-worship at Mount Sinai. “Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is thy God that brought thee up out of Egypt, and had wrought great provocations;…” (Nehemiah 9:18). “They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image” (Psalm 106:19). “To whom [God] our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands” (Acts 7:39-41). Nevertheless, 500 years after Moses, the Jews resumed their calf-worship.
Once King Solomon died, Israel was divided into two southern tribes (Judah) and 10 northern tribes (Israel). This weakening of Jewish political might was God’s judgment for Solomon’s repeated idolatry (1 Kings 11:1-43; cf. Leviticus 26:18-19). Judah remained loyal to David’s house through son Solomon and grandson Rehoboam, but Israel swore allegiance to Jeroboam the servant of Solomon. Jeroboam, fearing Israel would worship at the Jerusalem Temple according to God’s true religion revealed to Moses, instituted a counterfeit religion up north. What do you suppose was Jeroboam’s preferred idol?!?
“Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt…. And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made” (1 Kings 12:28,32).
Calf-worship continues in Israel….
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