How to Get Off the Golden Calf Roller Coaster Ride

Exodus 32 Golden Calf Roller Coaster Ride © 2015 WF Cobb  Listen to the audio

Ex 14:30 "So the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians 31 Thus Israel saw the great work which the LORD had done in Egypt; so the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD and His servant Moses." Ex 16 daily Manna.

32:1 "when the people saw that Moses delayed..."Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him." 2 Break off the golden earring (Ex 35:4) 4 he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf. "This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!" 5 when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. Aaron made a proclamation and said, "Tomorrow is a feast to Yahweh." 6 Then they rose early on the next day, offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 7 Yahweh said to Moses, "Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. 8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them Ex 20 They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, 'This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!' " 9 And the LORD said to Moses, "I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people! 10 Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation." 21 Aaron brought sin 25 unrestrained 26 Who is on Yahweh's side...sons of Levi.

I. Comparison of Israel and NT Christianity
1Cor 9:27 "I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
10:1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized...drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. 6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters (Col 3:5 geed) as were some of them. As it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play." 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day 23000 fell (Num 23) 9 nor let us tempt Christ, 11 written for our warning 2 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13...God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 20 I do not want you to have fellowship with demons."

II. Causes of the Roller Coaster Ride [We try to follow God with a pagan/cultural mindset, without dedication to totally obey God's Truth]

Ex 29 "Wash, cover, anoint, sin offering, whole burnt (dedication), consecration (ear, thumb, toe, clothes), burnt wave, fellowship..."

A. Govern our lives by feelings rather than fact-based faith, focusing on our circumstances/emotions rather than the promises of God.
Pr 28:26 "He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered."

B. Failure to develop self-control, and focus, seeking shortcuts to the security and significance that come from intimacy with God.

Heb 6:12 "that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises." Cf 2 Pt 1:5-9
Rev 2:19 "I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. (1st love)"

C. “Worshiping” God with the impure “natural” sensual trappings of the culture rather than with a renewed “supernatural” mindset.

John 14:22 "Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?" 23 Jesus answered "If anyone loves Me, he will keep/obey My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words."

D. Wishy-washy “leaders” who follow the wishes of people rather than the will of God. 

1Cor 11:1 "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ."

III. Correctives to get a Faithful and Steadfast Walk with God

A. Break with the past: Believe what God has revealed, and believe He will judge you for failure to obey. Heb 11:6 1Pt 1:17

Rm 12:1-2 "by the mercies of God, that you yield your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service of worship 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove/experience what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Cf Eph 4:22-24 Put off-be renewed-put on

B. Develop intimacy through individual and corporate sacrificial Biblical worship (Response to Revelation Gen 23; Dt 6).

2Tim 2:22 "Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart."

Josh 24:15 “if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose/decide for yourselves this day whom you will serve...but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” I have decided to follow Jesus, (though I may wonder), with the world behind me and the cross before me, though none go with me, still I will follow; no turning back, no turning back.
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. What causes us to experience mountaintops and valleys in our walks with God? How does/should faith affect our feelings?
2. What role do feelings and emotions have in the life of faith? Does one have to deny who they are, how they're created to follow Christ?
3. How have you consciously changed your thinking about God, yourself, life, and worship since becoming a believer? How did you?
4. Where is the cross (cognitive self-denial and self-sacrifice of the cause of Christ) in “cross-over” music? Who infects whom?
5. What steps do you think God would want you to take to get off the roller coaster ride and on the road to victorious intimacy with Him?

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