It would be one of those moments that would stick in our memories forever, always bringing a grin to our face and a giggle to our hearts. We hadn’t lived in our home long and were just becoming accustomed to the mundane hum of our neighborhood when the morning stillness was broken by the sound of our elderly neighbor’s angry voice. I had no clue as to what was going on out there, but one fact was certain-my children were not involved in the commotion; they were all in the house and not the source of the ruckus. Whew! As I gazed out the backdoor, the scene unfolded before me: our neighbor, well into her 70’s, was spanking a cow who had unintentionally wandered into her pristine garden. There she was, rolled up newspaper in hand, chastening that poor cow with her paper weapon. The cow, although confused and annoyed, refused to move and the confrontation entertained my children for hours.
Our home is surrounded by bovine creatures, and generally, they are courteous neighbors. But to understand the significance of our Bible story today, some background information must be covered. Every culture in the ancient world was connected somehow with the worship of bulls or cows. The bull was often a symbol of strength and fertility, and sadly, many civilizations associated the worship of this creature with divine blessings, rich crops, fertile harvests, and victory in battle. Even today, many cultures forbid the killing of these sacred animals.
Israel had just begun its journey to a new union with the God of their forefathers. But they had spent centuries in Egypt, witnessing the worship of Hapi, the god of the Nile River symbolized by a bull. When the “mixed multitude” left Egypt, they would travel to the land of the Canaanites, a nation who also worshiped a false god, Baal. But first, God led them to the “wilderness of Sinai” where He would remind them that HE was “The LORD thy God,” and they were to have “no other gods” before Him. They were not to make any “graven image…of any thing.” But when Moses did not return from the mount on their timetable, they panicked, and demanded that Aaron create a visual representation of a god, something tangible to go before them, merging the pagan worship with which they were familiar with the worship of the true God. They made themselves “a molten calf.” To say the least, God was not pleased.
I’m thankful that by God’s grace I was exposed to the true God, a God worthy of my worship. But although I have never been tempted to bow the knee to a graven image, I have unintentionally placed other “gods” before my Father at times. Anything that replaces God as our top priority is “a molten calf” that needs destroyed.
Exodus 20:2,3 I am the LORD thy God…Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
May I never be tempted to place anything or anyone in my life before You, dearest Father.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-2761-628f67f1de6d6' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=2761&origin=grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-2761-628f67f1de6d6' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-2761-628f67f1de6d6' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>