Exodus Ch.32 :1-29 Lets be like the World

Intro: Moses is a Giant in Human History – amazing man – a great leader – Greatest ever 2nd only to Jesus

A)One of only 7 men in the Bible called a man of God

B)Wrote the first hymn – of the bible Ex.15 / the last Hymn Rev.15

1) He was a real Lover of God / great man of God

C) WHAT A JOB – talk about a difficult task of leading close to 3 million people on a 40 yr. death march

  1. People who were stiff necked & Rebellious – So glad I didn’t pastor that Congregation ( Feel so Blessed to be here w/ You)

D)Connection class – Real People – down to earth – not playing Church

  1. Lovers of God – Worship / Word – love to serve - ( I feel blessed – only a few Churches compare w/ this one in those ways )


Now as we come to Ex.32 it is important to note that is Ch. Stands in Stark contrast to what we have been studying in Ch.’s 19-31

A)The Contrast is almost impossible to imagine – Because in the former Ch. 19-31 – we see God meeting w/ Moses - 10 Comm./ Tab. Instruction

B) In those Chapts we have been occupied w/ that which unveils to us the manifold Glories of Christ – seen in Tab/ Priesthood

C) But in Ch.32 – we are see a scene that radically depicts the awful Depravity of man – the Horrible sin that Satan Produces

D) In the former we are given instructions about Worship / Service & Drawing near to God

  1. IN the Latter – we witness man at his worship – forsaking God & turning to idols

I want us to back up & set the scene – Ch.19:9-25

A)Incredible Ominous scene

B) In Ch. 20 – the law is given – (God speaks audibly)

  1. Ch.21-23 The Judgements given thru Moses

C) Ch.24: 3

D) Ch. 24:12-18 Moses is called back up to the Mt.

  1. Tells the Elders to Wait – leaves Aaron & Hur in Charge & takes Joshua With Him

E) Moses is on the Mt. Getting instruction of the Tab – and a Total of 40 days transpires in the next 7 Chapters

  1. What were the People doing in the valley below while Moses was away?



Now a Key insight to this event is revealed in Stephens sermon in Acts 7

38"This is he who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the Angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, the one who received the living oracles to give to us, 39whom our fathers would not obey, but rejected. And in their hearts they turned back to Egypt, 40saying to Aaron, ‘Make us gods to go before us; as for this Moses who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’£ 41And they made a calf in those days, offered sacrifices to the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.

A)What Israel did at this pt. Was to turn their backs on the Lord – cast off their allegiance this is confirmed by their words in v.1

  1. This MOSES –( Contempt ) who has brought us out

B) Instead of referring to the Lord as their Divine Deliverer – their vision was narrowed to the human instrument that God – employed

  1. In Essence they were saying – We were following a man –now make us a god to lead us – because we don’t know what happened to Moses

C) Now this was in direct rebellion to the First Commandment - "You shall have no other gods before Me.

Now this was Aaron’s First big assignment & he fails miserably

A)Aaron was Moses’ older Brother – he too was a great man but he was flawed in area that has brought down many

B) FEAR OF MEN - The fear of man is snare – trip you up radically

  1. Fear of man is when always wondering – what others are thinking

How fit in

C) Fear of man will get people to compromise their morals – to fit in

  1. Compromise their Priorities for approval
  2. Compromise their integrity for Success

D) Fear of man is a snare – Especially cannot be in the Servant of God

IF you are concerned about what people think of you will NEVER be effective in serving God

A)IF you are going to be effective in serving God, you need to be concerned with what God thinks... NOT man

Because - Prov. 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

B) Aaron didn’t have a good response for these people BECAUSE he had more regard for man's opinion than he did for God's

C) The servant of God needs to be concerned primarily In serving w/ what God thinks... NOT what man thinks

  1. If not it is a SNARE

So the People wanted Aaron to break the first Commandment by making an Idol for them –

A)What Aaron did was he sought a Compromise in his own mind

B) He makes this calf as a visible representation for the people of Jehovah –

1)The calf Was the Principal god in Egypt – Apis - So Aaron makes this

calf & says in v.4 "This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of

the land of Egypt!"

C) And then he builds this Altar before it & says Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD.- Yaweh -

D) What Aaron was seeking to do was appease the people but still be true

  1. But his compromise was a direct – offense against the 2nd commandment

"You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.

E) Making an engraved image of the real God

This is what the Bible refers to as MIXTURE - God addresses this issue in Deut. 22:9-11

A)God hates MIXTURE when it comes to man worshipping Him

B)They have this GOLDEN CALF ( The chief deity of Egypt) and they are going to hold a festival to Jehovah God

C) People do the same thing today – Mix Christianity & the World into their lives

1) "It's Sunday... Time to have a festival to the Lord"

"It's Monday.... Time to serve Money"

D) "It's Wednesday... Time to have a festival to the Lord"

"It Friday.... Time to party" / THAT is MIXTURE and the Lord hates it

Much of the Christian Church today is guilty of this same sin of Aaron

Bringing the World into the Church

A)We as a nation have turned from the Lord – we have sinned and have become a stiff necked & rebellious people

B) But in too many Churches today – instead of Confronting sin / instead of saying to live this way is an abomination

C) What some Churches are doing is seeking to bring the world into the Church in order to make worldly people feel Comfortable /

  1. In hopes that they will eventually want to seek God

D) So in some Churches today – Pre-service music – Beer Commercial

Or a Sitcom theme

  1. Youth group - Blaring Popular secular music of the day

E) Churches - Movie Clips – Billy Jack – ( Anger ) a little violence / a little swearing – make the worldly person feel right at home

We are not going to study or read from the Bible – but we will make references to the Bible

A)In our quest to be relevant we will quote from the popular idols –

( the voices of Prominence in the Culture – Movies / Music )

B) Like Aaron is doing here – they are seeking to relate to those who are were in Egypt – This is Jehovah – he just looks like Apis

C) Here is the Problem w/ that mentality – You don’t take people w/ you to the Lord – but you end up taking the Lord’s people to the golden calf

  1. Here is what happens – People say – hey if he watches those movies and listens to that kind of music – it must be ok

D) When we seek to bring worldliness into the Church in order to make the worldly person feel comfortable & hopefully closer to God

Too often the result is it only brings the godly person closer to the world/ V.6

I would hope that the unbeliever coming in here would find – what we do so radically different - & yet wonderfully real

A)Sense not shallow entertainment – but life / that which is real –

B) Hope that he would feel – incredible uncomfortable at the Presence of God in our mist - & yet – drawn by the Love in our fellowship /Worship

  1. Joy on our faces & Brought to life by the power of the word we share

C) Another place where the World has infiltrated the Church is thru Psychology – Mantra so popular today – SELF ESTEEM

  1. So much talk about Self worth & building our self Esteem

D) Men need to feel Successful – women need to feel important

  1. Not Biblical - Bible teaches is CHRIST ESTEEM

Here is how this works – My identity is not to be found in who I am as a person or what I have accomplished / car drive / house live / clothes

A)It is not to be associated w/ what others think of me – my identity is to be found & wrapped up solely in who I am in Christ & that alone

B) Illustrate – Some of you really like me – ( Others undecided ) I appreciate that – grateful – good feeling

  1. But I can’t put any stock in that & if I do opens the door for doing what Aaron did – Compromise

C) Start thinking – well if I say that – make those people that like me mad & then they won’t like me any more – so better water it down

  1. But Guess what if I do that then God is not going to be happy w/ me

D) Quite frankly I care more about making him happy than you !!!!

So My identity is in who I am in Christ – My happiness comes from pleasing Him & relying on his grace when I don’t

A)Life revolves around this reality – that I know that w/ out Him I can do nothing – nothing good comes from my life

B) Lousy Pastor – Grace of God that keeps this Church afloat

  1. Now I might be better than some – But Jesus is the Comparison

C)Rotten Husband – My wife would say – better than most – But the most is not who I am to compare w/ it is the One - Fall real Short

D) Horrible Father – Jesus said – You being evil ……

  1. Compared to the heavenly Father

E) NOT REALISTIC !!!!!!! – That is reality

Might be thinking – boy he has low self Esteem – Hope so

A)Really not supposed to have any - But instead to know that in me my flesh dwells no good thing

B)And if – what John Prayed doesn’t happen in my life I will be in big trouble - less of me & More of Him

C) Now the attitude that creates in a person or Church is this:

  1. Totally dependent on Christ
  2. Completely seeking after Christ
  3. Desiring to be conformed into the image of Christ

D) But when the focus is on building up Self & who I am – result is I learn to not be totally dependent on Christ for everything

  1. Not completely seeking after Christ – Because I have goals & things
  2. And I am not being conformed into the image of Christ – but too often an image that is projected by what this world says I should be

So the sin of Aaron is alive and well in the Church today – Watch the Lords reaction v.7-9



A)The Lord says – Moses I will make of you a nation ( Woman at the park yesterday – Trade in my kids )

B) Children of Moses / Father Moses / Seed of Moses

1) What a temptation – EGO - Moses response – v.11- 14

C) Now, there are some difficulties with our text. The difficulties lie in what we view to be an apparent angry God being consoled by Moses.

  1. In a sense, it looks like God is the hot head, and Moses is the cool head.

D) God is wanting to wipe them out, and Moses is interceding for them; and that through Moses perseverance, God's mind was changed,

1) and God then did not wipe them out as the result of Moses' intercession.

The problems lie in language. God is infinite, and yet, we must describe God in human, finite terminology;

A)With words that we know, words that we understand. We have to explain the actions of God with words that we understand.

B) And so, we read, "It repented God," or God repented, and did not slay them. And we say, "Well, God changed His mind.

  1. Moses was successful in his intercession. Changed the mind of God."

C) Yet the scriptures tell us that God is not a man that He should lie, nor the son of man that He should repent, or change.

1) Has He not spoken, and shall He not do it? God said, "Behold, I am God. I change not."

Here is the thing that we need to see – two ways – Scofield – Test

A)Others – God who put it into Moses heart to respond in this way

B) Where does true prayer begin? True prayer begins with God, the heart of God. Moses was inspired by God to pray for these people.

1) Consider the Facts

C)Now, what had happened is that the people had indeed violated the law of God seriously, and whoever broke this law was to be cut off,

  1. they were to be slain. The wages of sin is death.

D)PC is Helpful : From a technical standpoint, they had brought upon themselves the sentence of death, and God, in being just and righteous, was, in a sense, bound to put them to death, but He didn't want to. He needed an excuse not to.

E) And so, He lays it upon the heart of Moses to intercede for the people, that through that intercession, God might have an out. And He retreats into His grace, and in His mercy; and He said, "I will show mercy upon whom I will have mercy, and grace upon whom I will have grace,"

and He just retreated into His sovereignty and didn't wipe them out.

But, as we read it, it would appear, and that's because we have to use human language, it would appear that God had changed, that Moses was successful, that Moses had used the logic and reasoning, and had argued God out of what God was wanting to do; which really is not the case, because Moses was inspired by God for his prayers.

Now we can learn something from Moses Prayer however – about praying effectively – Prayer that God hears & responds to/ 3 things

A)1st – V.11 – Appealed to God’s Grace – Your people – whom you delivered - their deliverance was act of grace

B) 2nd V.12 – God’s Glory – Your name – what nations say

  1. Real key to effective prayer – prayer that is most interested w/ the glory of God – His name being Praised – more than my need being met

C) Trials – Strength or deliverance

  1. 3rd God’s Faithfulness – His Promise

This Prayer was Honest / Selfless / Scriptural – that is the kind of Prayer that moves the heart of God v.15- 19

Moses Breaks the tablets as symbolizing that they had broke the law

20Then he took the calf which they had made, burned it in the fire, and ground it to powder; and he scattered it on the water and made the children of Israel drink it.

A)Here is a man who is not concerned about the fear of man - V. 21-26

B) ONE lone man challenged an entire nation!!

His own brother virtually deserted him

C) The 70 elders of Israel who should have been at his side were no where to be found

1) He stood before a nation of people intoxicated with idolatry and lust

D) One has to wonder WHERE he got such strength and courage.... HOW he could ask such a cutting question

Answer :Moses was a man of God who was able to ask this radical question because he was a man of the mountain....

A)A man who enjoyed COMMUNION with God

He went to Mt. Sinai and for 40 days he was in the presence of the Lord

B) That is THE place of STRENGTH and SECURITY


Dan. 11:32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, & do exploits.


Ps. 91:1- Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.2 This I declare of the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I am trusting him.

3 For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from the fatal plague. He will shield you with his wings. He will shelter you with his feathers. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

NOTE Because Moses had been with God, Moses became the ONE FIXED POINT to which man could look when everyone else wandered from GOD

A)When the whole nation was in chaos running away from God... Moses stood fixed in his commitment to God..... pointing men to God

B) How about YOU in your home and workplace?

  1. If YOU want to be such a man or woman, you MUST come from a

place of communion with God

C) Moses came to the people from God

1) He REFUSED to come down for those 40 days

D) Interesting : He spent that time with God even though he knew the kind of people that he was serving

1) He knew their tendency to murmur- He knew their tendency to go astray

BUT - Moses had his priorities straight

E) He KNEW that he had to get a Word from God

1) He would stay on the mountain until he could say: Thus saith the Lord

APPLICATION: PARENTS - I want to suggest something to you that is NOT meant to demean anyone

A) What our children need most is NOT necessarily a word from DR.


B) You see, you can get a word from James Dobson in about 15 minutes

1) BUT - To spend time on the mountain seeking God... Asking Him: "Lord, what do my children need to hear?"

C)THAT is a whole different story- THAT requires a PRIORITY of your time to be seeking the Lord

D)Our kids don't need another sermon... they need a word from the Lord

1) YOU don't need another sermon... YOU need a Word from the Lord

The question that Moses asked was directly from God and was the direct result of spending time with God

A)This is NOT only a VERY RADICAL question, but it is also a very SIMPLE question

B) The question is MOST crucial and therefore had to be MOST clear

NOTE: He did NOT ask: "Who is on the side of MORALITY and the

Judeo-Christian Ethic?"

C)He did NOT ask: "Who is on the side of social reform & brotherly love?"

1) He did NOT ask: "Who is on the side of religious rights?"

D)THE question Moses asked was: "Who is on the Lord's side?"

1) Because everything hangs in the balance of THAT question

E)You can have Judeo-Christian values and yet NOT be on the Lord's side

1) You can have compassion for the downcast in society and yet NOT be on the Lord's side.

F)You can have deep religious commitments & NOT be on the Lord's side

NOTE: This was NOT merely a question to stimulate PHILOSOPHICAL or THEOLOGICAL thought.

A)The question DEMANDED a DECISION... THEN and NOW Who is on the LORD'S side? let him come unto me.

B) Jesus made MANY radical claims

1)BUT - All of them were intended to make man RESPOND..... to take

sides FOR or AGAINST Him

C) So He challenged men to FOLLOW HIM and to COME AFTER HIM and COME UNTO HIM

1) And He promised that if ANY man would COME to Him that He would NEVER turn them away BUT - You had to decide to COME

Well we read of how the Levites responded V. 27-29

A)NOTE: The question did NOT merely DEMAND a DECISION

It required COMMITMENT

B) Could YOU have done that?- Moses said: Who is on the Lord's side?

The men of the tribe of Levi said: We are

  1. Moses said: Are you?.... Strap on your sword and kill those people that

have plunged into idolatry

C)They MANIFESTED their DECISION by being COMMITTED to the Lord above everything else

1) We are called to pick up the sword of truth & share it – in love even when it is uncomfortable

D) NOTE 3,000 died- INTERESTING:

The day the Law came down from Sinai 3,000 died.... The day the Holy Spirit came down on the day of Pentecost 3,000 were saved

E) The LAW works death... The Spirit works LIFE

NOTE: God honored their COMMITMENT/Their CONSECRATION to Him

A)Originally God had intended that the first born child of EVERY family of EVERY tribe was to serve God as a priest

B) God said that they were to be a NATION of priests.... serving God

C) But at this point the nation had fallen into such sin that the Lord had to ask WHO IS ON MY SIDE?


The Levites said: We are

D)The Lord said: From now on THAT will be the people who will serve Me in My sanctuary.... The tribe of Levi alone

We want to close with THREE points of APPLICATION:

1.) We are living in a world that is just like those seen in our study.... Lost in idolatry and lust

CAN you like Moses ASK this question

Do YOU have a Word from the Lord for your family and friends

Do YOU fear God more than man

Do YOU in word and action CHALLENGE your world with the question: "Who is on the Lord's side?"

2.) The obvious

Are YOU on the Lord's side


You will leave her on ONE of TWO side

On the Lord's side

On the World's side

There is NO middle ground

Jesus said: "If you are not FOR Me you are against Me"


3.) IF you believe that God is the One that you are to side with, will you RESPOND and COMMIT to Him?