OH, OH! What are the people doing now? They are praying to a calf! Why are they doing this?
When Moses stays up on the mountain for a long time, the people say: ‘We do not know what has happened to Moses. So let’s make a god to lead us out of this land.’
‘All right,’ Moses’ brother Aaron says. ‘Take off your gold earrings, and bring them to me.’ When the people do so, Aaron melts them down and makes a golden calf. And the people say: ‘This is our God, who led us out of Egypt!’ Then the Israelites have a big party, and worship the golden calf.
When Jehovah sees this, he is very angry. So he says to Moses: ‘Hurry and go down. The people are acting very badly. They have forgotten my laws and are bowing down to a golden calf.’
Moses hurries down the mountain. And when he gets close, this is what he sees. The people are singing and dancing around the golden calf! Moses is so angry that he throws down the two flat stones with the laws on them, and they break into many, many pieces. He then takes the golden calf and melts it down. Then he grinds it into powder.
The people have done a very bad thing. So Moses tells some of the men to take their swords. ‘The bad people who worshiped the golden calf must die,’ Moses says. And so the men strike dead 3,000 people! Doesn’t this show that we need to be careful to worship only Jehovah, and not any false gods?
The Israelites made a statue and said that it represented God, but did God agree?