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Sharing the Vision
They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image. Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass. Psalm 106:19, 20.
In the absence of Moses, the judicial authority had been delegated to Aaron, and a vast crowd gathered about his tent, with the demand, “Make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, ... we wot not what is become of him.” The cloud, they said, ... now rested permanently upon the mount; it would no longer direct their travels....
Such a crisis demanded a man of firmness, decision, and unflinching courage; one who held the honor of God above popular favor, personal safety, or life itself. But the present leader of Israel was not of this character. Aaron feebly remonstrated with the people, but his wavering and timidity at the critical moment only rendered them the more determined.... There were some who remained true to their covenant with God, but the greater part of the people joined in the apostasy....
Aaron feared for his own safety; and instead of nobly standing up for the honor of God, he yielded to the demands of the multitude.... He made a molten calf, in imitation of the gods of Egypt. The people proclaimed, “These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” And Aaron basely permitted this insult to Jehovah. He did more. Seeing with what satisfaction the golden god was received, he built an altar before it, and made proclamation, “Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord.” The announcement was heralded by trumpeters from company to company throughout the camp.... Under the pretense of holding “a feast to the Lord,” they gave themselves up to gluttony and licentious reveling.
How often, in our own day, is the love of pleasure disguised by a “form of godliness!” A religion that permits men, while observing the rites of worship, to devote themselves to selfish or sensual gratification, is as pleasing to the multitudes now as in the days of Israel. And there are still pliant Aarons, who, while holding positions of authority in the church, will yield to the desires of the unconsecrated, and thus encourage them in sin.1Patriarchs and Prophets, 316, 317.
From Conflict and Courage - Page 97
Thought for the Day
In this age of boasted enlightenment, the Christian church is confronted with a world lying in midnight darkness. - TM 457