Saturday, October 2, 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?
Remember, Israel spent over four centuries in Egypt (Genesis 15:13; Exodus 12:40,41). During that time, the Jewish people were exposed to countless deities (pagan gods and goddesses), distracting them from the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Consequently, Exodus 3:13-15: “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.”
The 10 plagues the LORD God meted out on Egypt demonstrated His superiority to 10 Egyptian deities. “For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD” (Exodus 12:12). “For the Egyptians buried all their firstborn, which the LORD had smitten among them: upon their gods also the LORD executed judgments” (Numbers 33:4). One of these gods was the highly venerated Apis/Hapis, a bull/calf god!
Having crossed the Red Sea, although no longer in Egypt physically, Israel was still there mentally and spiritually. As indicated in today’s Scripture, her people never made a clean break from their old lifestyle. They retained the idea of calf-worship, copying what they had seen the ancient Egyptians do for hundreds of years….