..To ancient SDA's ............ To "What's New?"

 

That 
golden "calf"
incident !

 

by

Ron Parsons

Part two


Back to Part One

 

Let’s revisit the story piece by piece:

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Exodus 32:

1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron, and said to him, "Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not [don’t know] what is become of him."

2 And Aaron said to them, "Break off the golden earrings [those pagan symbols], which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them to me." 3 And all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. 4 And he received them at their hand, and [caused it to be] fashioned with a graving tool [Aaron did not physically make it], after he had made it a molten calf [it was a work of art]: and they said, "These be your gods [note the plural], O Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt."

5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it [again someone else made it but Aaron commissioned it]; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, "Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD [meaning the LORD as represented by the calf idol]." 6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings [but no sin offerings]; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play [as the pagans did in their religion].

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The golden "calf" was actually a young bullock, a yearling, an animal of great power. See Leviticus 9:3. It was a representation of brute strength and as such was a picture of the god of force. They had learned about him in Egypt. That’s why the people said that "it" had led them out of Egypt and wanted to worship it. And they liked its immoral rituals.

And there were more gods worshipped at that time than just the one represented by the golden calf. See note 1, (Acts 7:37-44).

Ear holes in the Bible are recognised as symbols of servitude, so Satan used them often in his religious system. When a Hebrew live-in worker (male or female) refused to go free in the seventh year, then God said, "You shall take an awl, and thrust it through his ear to the door, and he shall be your servant for ever. And also to your maidservant you shall do likewise." Deuteronomy 15:17. This was done as a legal bond in front of the judges and was considered a shameful situation, for an Israelite should be a permanent servant to God only. Exodus 21:1-6.

The placing of a ring in the hole just made the Pagan’s condition evident to all, and the Israelites were following their ways without realising the implications. The rings had to be "broken off" because they were normally sealed to represent an eternal devotion.

Aaron’s failing to stand up boldly for the right at this time, his yielding to the strength of numbers, placed him with the majority. In fact, his compliance with the desires of the people and the calm assurance with which he proceeded to carry out their plans, emboldened them to go to greater lengths in sin than had before entered their minds. The fact that Aaron had been blessed and honoured so far above the people was what made his sin so bad. It was Aaron "the saint of the Lord" (Psalm 106:16), that had made the idol and announced the feast.

 

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Exodus 32:

7 And the LORD said to Moses, "Go, get you down; for your people, which 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: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, ‘These be your gods, O Israel, which have brought you up out of the land of Egypt’."

9 And the LORD said to Moses, "I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked [obstinate] people: 10 now therefore let Me alone, that My wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of you a great nation [and a new church – a temptation many others have not been able to resist]."

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The Son of God NEVER destroys any one, at any time, for any reason.

When He did seem to suggest this to Moses while in discussion on the Mount to see how he would react, Moses earnestly reminded Him that He could not do that, for that is the way Satan works. (See the parable of the tares amongst the wheat. The tares are to be left till the end of the world, and then the angels will do the separating. Matthew 13:40-41.) No matter how much we may reject God, despise Him, war against Him, insult Him, or separate from Him, His love to us is not changed in the least degree.

Besides that, He had promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and Moses did not want Him to break His promise by giving himself and his descendants the kingdom. Yet the people obviously thought of God as a God of force and a destroyer, which is why they worshipped the ox. In their minds they were NOT worshipping a false god, but the living God as a destroyer.

 

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Exodus 32:

11 And Moses besought the LORD [stood and argued with] his God, and said, "LORD, why does Your wrath wax hot against YOUR people, which YOU have brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? 12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, ‘For mischief did He bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth?’

"Turn from Your fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against Your people [Moses was aghast at the thought of the Son of God killing His people].

13 "Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give to your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever’."

14 And the LORD repented of the evil which He thought to do to His people [the unchangeable God changed His mind, or so it seems!].   See note 3 (Psalm 106:19-23)

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Wholesale slaughter is akin to race-ism. We see also that Moses thought of the Son of God as "hot"
and "fierce" with anger and begged Him to repent, but the LORD’s attitude is already "neither do I condemn." John 8:11.

 

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Exodus 32:

15 And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written.

16 And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.

17 And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, "There is a noise of war in the camp." 18 And he [Moses] said, "It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear."

19 And it came to pass, as soon as he [Moses] came nigh to the camp, that he saw the calf, and the [immoral] dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and broke them beneath the mount. 20 And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strowed [spread] it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.

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When Moses, on returning to the camp, confronted the rebels, his severe rebukes and the indignation he displayed in breaking the sacred tables of the law were contrasted by the people with his brother's pleasant speech and dignified demeanour, and their sympathies were with Aaron. Moses’ ideals changed as he saw the extent of the sin, and in his anger he began to exact retribution on behalf of God where just before he had argued that his God could not do that.

 

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Exodus 32:

21 And Moses said to Aaron, "What did this people to you, that you have brought so great a sin upon them?" 22 And Aaron said, "Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: you know the people, that they are set on mischief [it’s their fault]. 23 For they said to me, ‘Make us gods [again in plural], which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.’ 24 And I said to them, "Whosoever has any gold, let them break it off [he left out the fact that they were earrings]." So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there [miraculously] came out this calf [and the others]."

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There was, in addition to the image of Baal the god of force, a representation of his wife/mother (the queen of heaven, Jeremiah 7:17-19), and Molech the child burner (Leviticus 18:21), for they often work together to destroy the family. In note 1 again, (Acts 7:42-43), Stephen quotes from the prophet Amos that God complained of His people that they turned from Him at this point and worshipped those gods, including the god of war rather than Him, during the whole forty years wandering.

In note 4, (Hosea 8:1-8), we find that the ten tribes of Israel were still worshipping the calf hundreds of years later just before they vanished from history. But they were not killed by God’s people.

Aaron’s excuses were just that, the excuses of a weak man who had given in to a sinful people. His attempt to make out that the creation of the bullock was a miracle met with the reception it deserved.

Surely of all the sins that God should punish (were He a punishing God), none could be more grievous in His sight than those that encourage others to do evil.

Later, the record says that Moses prayed for his brother, who as a Levite, was in the transgression, and obtained forgiveness for him! He may have helped Aaron see what he had done, but surely the forgiveness came when Aaron himself fronted up to the Son of God and asked for it? "For there is [only] one God, and [only] one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" and we must confess to God through Him alone. 1 Timothy 2:5.

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Deuteronomy 9:

18 And I fell down before the LORD, as at the first, forty days and forty nights [up on the mount a second time]: I did neither eat bread, nor drink water, because of all your sins which you sinned, in doing wickedly in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger. 19 For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure, wherewith the LORD was wroth against you to destroy you. But the LORD hearkened to me at that time also.

20 And the LORD was very angry with Aaron to have destroyed him: and I prayed for Aaron also the same time. 21 And I took [I told God that I had taken] your sin, the calf which you had made, and burnt it with fire, and stamped it, and ground it very small [although Moses says that he did it, he means that he instructed some others to do this for him], even until it was as small as dust: and I cast the dust thereof into the brook that descended out of the mount.

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So, not all the Levites were sinless. If there were others who joined in and then later repented, we are not told of them, but there most probably were some swayed by Aaron’s behaviour. God’s "anger" is expressed when, for various reasons, He can no longer protect His loved ones, but Moses is speaking and writing of Him as if He were a god of force (Baal), saying that he was afraid of "the anger and hot displeasure" of God. Maybe he didn’t see the connection?

We need to keep in mind that the Bible is true and accurate in all its records, but that the words spoken are not necessarily true when some one other than God speaks them. When Eve spoke to the devil through the serpent, she misquoted the word of God. Genesis 3:3. When the serpent replied to her that she would "not surely die" that was an outright lie. Genesis 3:4. Maybe Moses was adding his version to God’s words, transferring his anger onto the Son of God?

When Moses mentions destroying the heavy gold statue, remember that he was eighty years old at the time, so it should be obvious that some one helped him.

 

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Exodus 32:

25 And when Moses saw that the people were naked [physically and spiritually]; (for Aaron had made them naked [defenceless] to their shame among their enemies:) 26 then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, "Who is [or who stayed] on the LORD'S side? Let him come to me." And all the sons of Levi [with some obvious exceptions] gathered themselves together to him. 27 And he said to them, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate [a house to house witchhunt] throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour." [Moses was still very angry.]

28 And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men [plus their wives and children].

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There must have been some fierce fighting that day because the unrepentant ones would not have given in easily. Those who did the killing claimed to be sinless in this transgression, but were they? Was this the Son of God’s desire? To set brother against brother?

In the state of Israel judicial execution (after due process) was by stoning, with all the people capable of joining in. "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, Bring forth him that has cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him. And you shall speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘Whosoever curses his God shall bear his sin. And he that blasphemes the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him. As well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemes the name of the LORD, shall be put to death. And he that kills any man shall surely be put to death." Leviticus 24:13-17.

The idea was that after being found guilty of murder by a court the witnesses would throw the first stones at the criminal, and then all who wanted to join in the execution could then unite with them, from children to the octogenarian. But Jesus the Son of God wouldn’t stone Mary when she was guilty of adultery. John 8:11. He chose not to, so it is clear that it was not compulsory. Yet the Bible seems to record that He gave the command to destroy the rebels. (v27) Why?

For the crime of believing that their god overcomes his enemies by superior force; for the crime of believing that the mother of god should be worshipped as a protector; for the crime of believing that children should be able to decide their own way of life, three thousand men were killed in running battles throughout the camp, their wives and children massacred, their goods and cattle confiscated, by an overwhelming force of some nine thousand zealots in a religious frenzy!

This is anarchy, not the sober actions of sensible and aged citizens of a state!

God sometimes has to "allow" His people to exercise tactics He would not use.  See note 6 (Ezekiel 20:23-26.)  The execution of the 3,000 determined rebels and their families was NOT the Son of God’s idea, for He would not kill just because some folk prefer to worship another god. See note 2, (Nehemiah 9:16-21.) Yet at that time Moses was quite in agreement with the bloody executions of 3,000 of his relations, plus their wives and children (collateral damage?)

This action was one of many which set out the pattern for all the religious battles waged in the name of the living God in the centuries that followed, including those of the Protestant world.

 

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Exodus 32:

29 For Moses had said, "Consecrate yourselves today to the LORD, even every man upon his son, and upon his brother; that He may bestow upon you a blessing this day."

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Moses seems to have told the Levites that the Son of God would bestow a blessing upon them that day. Some ask the question, "When did he say that? Before, or after the slaughter?"

It really doesn’t matter when, but in the cold light of day, it APPEARS that Moses suggested to the Levites BEFORE the executions that they could be consecrated to God through their sword action! This is not possible before or after, of course, otherwise God is no better than a Hitler who congratulated the SS when they exterminated many people because they had a different religion, or the pope who handed out medals to those who slaughtered the Huguenots on St. Batholomew’s day in 1572.

Or did the Son of God authorise it because the offenders would be thorns in the sides of the righteous(!) ones? Or did He bless the Levites because of their refusal to stand with the rebels in their act of worship?

What really happened?

The Levites (and Moses) wanted revenge so they clamoured for it in "righteous" indignation and got it. Just like later on, when Israel despised the manna and wanted meat, they got it. It didn’t do them any real good, but "He gave them their own desire" nevertheless! (Psalm 78:29.) When Israel rejected God’s leadership "and desired a king" (Acts 13:21), again they got it. God "gave them their own desire". Unfortunately He often needs to work this way among His own people! But after the massacre when their bloodlust simmered down the Levites realised what they had done by transgressing the law which says "You shall not kill," and that a son should not die for his father’s sins or a father for his son’s sins.

This is what God says about that:

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Ezekiel 18:

1 The word of the LORD came to me again, saying, 2 What mean you, that you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, "The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge?" [The children pay for the father’s sins, or wives for their husbands.]

3 "As I live [a very powerful promise]," says the LORD GOD, "you shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel."

4 Behold, all souls are Mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is Mine: the soul that sins, it shall die. 5 But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right . . . 9 has walked in My statutes, and has kept My judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, says the LORD GOD.

10 If he beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, and that does the like to any one of these things . . . 13 . . . shall he [the son] then live? He shall not live: he has done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him.

14 Now, lo, if he [the robber] beget a son, that sees all his father's sins which he has done, and considers, and does not such like . . . 16 . . . neither has spoiled by violence, but has given his bread to the hungry, and has covered the naked with a garment . . . 17 . . . has walked in My statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live.

18 As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity. 19 Yet say you, "Why? Does not the son bear the iniquity of the father?" [They had always assumed that that was "kosher."] When the son has done that which is lawful and right, and has kept all My statutes, and has done them, he shall surely live.

20 The soul that sins, it shall die [the Son of God does not say that He will kill him – He is just stating the fact that the wages (result) of sin is death.].

The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. [This is the whole Law!] . . .

23 "Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?" says the LORD GOD: "and not that he should return from his ways, and live?" [I want them to have time to repent.]

24 But when the righteous turns away from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All his righteousness that he has done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he has trespassed, and in his sin that he has sinned, in [by] them shall he die.

25 Yet you say, "The way of the LORD is not equal [just]." Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not My way equal [fair]? Are not your ways unequal?

26 When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, and dies in them; for his iniquity THAT HE HAS DONE SHALL HE DIE. 27 Again, when the wicked man turns away from his wickedness that he has committed [when he repents], and does that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. 28 Because he considers, and turns away from all his transgressions that he has committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 29 Yet says the house of Israel, "The way of the LORD is not equal." O house of Israel, are not My ways [exactly] equal? Are not your ways unequal?

30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, says the LORD GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.

31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby you have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will you die, O house of Israel?

32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dies, says the LORD GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live you. [I give life, it is sin which brings death.]

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God and His Christians do not need a death penalty, because they forgive their enemies for what they have done to them. It is those who are NOT Christians (or professed Christians with a desire for vengeance) who need such a law, and the nations of the world are in that category.

Israel AS A NATION was no better than them and so the "eye for eye" principle was the only way in their legal system. It was the fairest method in an unfair world. It also set strict limits as to punishment. It was not designed to exact revenge, but to set the maximum sentence which could be imposed.

 

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Matthew 5:

[Yet Jesus told His followers] 38 You have heard that it has been said, "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:" 39 but I say to you, That you resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue you at the law, and take away your coat, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whosoever shall compel you to go a mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him that asks you, and from him that would borrow of you turn not you away.

43 You have heard that it has been said, "You shall love your neighbour, and hate your enemy." 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 that you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust [He loves His enemies].

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So where does "an eye for an eye" come in?

Israel was both a state and a church – therefore there were two rules an individual had to live by – those of the civil authority and those of the LORD. The state could not forgive, for its role was to wield the sword and keep the peace for the majority. (Romans 13:1-4). The individual Christians on the other hand, could forgive and were asked to do so.

Under the law of the state, execution was to be by ALL the people, not a select few of "holier than thou" citizens, and the basis for retribution was "eye for eye, and tooth for tooth." Exodus 21:23-25. There was no one man switching on an electric chair, or giving a lethal injection. If a man caused harm to another’s eye, he was to receive the same treatment, no more, for the punishment must fit the crime.

BUT NO ONE WAS FORCED TO BECOME AN EXECUTIONER.

As we have seen, Jesus exercised His right and refused to stone the adulterer. Why? Because He knew that sin must be seen to be the executioner. Every sinner that dies in the Lake of Fire will die as the result of his or her own behaviour, for God kills no one, at any time, for any reason, although He often takes the blame for what His people have done. He will not even accuse anyone, for that is Satan’s work! Revelation 12:9-10; John 8:11.

Where had the unrepentant ones at the golden calf site killed anyone, to come under the "eye for eye" principle? Where were they tried and judged guilty by their peers without emotion or prejudice? If there were isolated cases of killing, then those murderers should have individually died for their sin by stoning after due process. Even the Romans knew better than to punish without trial. See Acts 22:24-26.

When, in reaction, the Levites who had not participated in the calf worship, wanted to kill those who had threatened them, the Son of God could not do much about it. A "lynch mob" is hard to handle and as we have read, He has since taken the blame for their behaviour. Yet a mob worships the god of force too, and so the Levites were now doing exactly what they were killing their friends for having done! They were eliminating those who disagreed with them in religion! (On behalf of their god, of course).

During the massacre they were like Moses’ rod when it became a serpent – dangerous and unpredictable, out of control – but later they were back under God’s charge. Exodus 7:9-10.

What does God say of the Levites AFTER the slaughter?

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Malachi 2:

4 And you shall know that I have sent this commandment to you, that My covenant might be with Levi, says the LORD of hosts. 5 My covenant was with him of LIFE AND PEACE; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared Me, and was afraid before My name [he repented]. 6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: HE WALKED WITH ME IN PEACE AND EQUITY, and [from that time on] did turn many away from iniquity.

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From this text and the one by Moses telling us that the Levites were to be blessed by God, we can see that they repented of their hasty course of action. That very repentance was the basis of their being able to approach the God of life so closely that they could be given the job of working in His house. He who has sinned the most is forgiven the most, and can approach the throne most closely.

Their acceptance of the gift of righteousness was such that it is said of them that they should "make an atonement [teach the way] for the children of Israel: that there be no plague among the children of Israel, when the children of Israel come nigh unto the sanctuary." Numbers 8:19.

They did indeed walk with God in peace from then on.

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Exodus 32:

30 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said to the [rest of the repentant] people, "You have sinned a great sin [they were scared they were to be next, for many were dying in the plague, v35]: and now I will go up to the LORD; peradventure I SHALL MAKE AN ATONEMENT FOR YOUR SIN [they were already forgiven]." 31 And Moses returned to the LORD, and said, "Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods [plural] of gold. 32 Yet now, if You will forgive their sin – [his voice trails off at this point]; and if not, blot me, I pray You, out of Your book [of life] which You have written [I want to be their saviour]."

33 And the LORD said to Moses, "Whosoever has sinned against Me, him [only] will I blot out of My book. 34 Therefore now go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you [go and do your work]: behold, My Angel shall go before you: nevertheless in the day when I visit [the Day of Judgment] I will visit their sin upon them." 35 And the LORD plagued the people, because they made [asked for] the calf, which Aaron made.

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Moses offered to take the place of the rebels but his offer was refused by a God who says that NO ONE can die for another’s sins, except the Son of God. Moses was to do his own job.

Those who were guilty of idol worship would one day pay the penalty of so doing. They would find that such gods cannot protect in time of trouble. See note 4 again, (Hosea 8:1-8).

Moses should have asked for more time for them so he could try and persuade them to change their ways, for that is how the kingdom of heaven works.

In closing, consider that when Lucifer rebelled in heaven, God did not send loyal angels to kill him or any of his followers. They were allowed to leave heaven and come to earth where they have set up a rival kingdom, and still He has not attacked them. They will continue their rebellion until they commit suicide in the Lake of Fire after the third advent. God could have destroyed Satan and his sympathisers as easily as one can cast a pebble to the earth; but He did not do this. Rebellion was not to be overcome by force. Compelling power is found only under Satan's government. The LORD's principles are not of this order. His authority rests upon goodness, mercy, and love; and the presentation of these principles is the means to be used. God's government is moral, and truth and love are to be the prevailing power.

Consider also that the erring Peter was not only forgiven after his denial of Christ, but reinstated into a higher position because of his repentance. John 21:15-19. That’s what happened to the Levites.


 

This article is available in printed form (A5): mail me and ask for a free copy or two


To ancient SDA's ............ To "What's New?"

 

Note 1.

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Acts 7:

37 This is that Moses, which said to the children of Israel, "A prophet shall the LORD your God raise up to you of your brothers, like to me; Him shall you hear." 38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the Angel which spoke to him in the mount Sinai, and with our fathers: who received the living oracles to give to us. 39 To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, 40 saying to Aaron, "Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt,
we wot not what is become of him."

41 And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice to the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands [and they never got over it properly]. 42 [For] then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven [all the false gods]; as it is written in the book of the prophets, "O you house of Israel, have you offered to Me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness? 43 Yea, you took up the tabernacle of Moloch [the child burning god], and the star of your god Remphan [aka Saturn the god of war], figures which you made to worship them [they had those idols with them till they crossed the river Jordan, Joshua 24:14-15, 23]: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon [eventually]."

44 [Yet] our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as He had appointed, speaking to Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen [therefore they had no excuse].

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Although the majority of the people carried on the worship of other gods during the whole of the wilderness wanderings, they were not slaughtered as at the golden calf time. (There are many professed Christians today who worship a god of force in the name of the living God, for their god would kill his enemies, or those who disagree with him.) The Son of God’s method was try and turn them from that kind of religion. All He did was stop the ritual of circumcision and the Passover ceremony for the forty years to show His displeasure.

It was the same when they entered Canaan – He did not want to physically destroy the Canaanites, but under the influence of the Spirit they were to either accept His way (as Rahab and her relations did, Hebrews 11:31) or reject it and die from internal divisions. See note 5 (Deuteronomy 7:17-23).

Nor did He execute anybody for that crime during the days of Samuel. "And Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, If you do return to the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth [the wife/mother of the god of force] from among you, and prepare your hearts to the LORD, and serve Him only: and He will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.

"Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim [the gods of force] and Ashtaroth [Baal’s wife], and served the LORD only [for a while]." 1 Samuel 7:3-4.  Back   Back again


Note 2.

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Nehemiah 9:

16 But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to Your commandments, 17 and refused to obey, neither were mindful of Your wonders that You did among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but You are a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsook them not.

18 Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, "This is your God that brought you up out of Egypt, and had wrought great provocations; 19 yet You in Your manifold mercies forsook them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to show them light, and the way wherein they should go.

20 You gave also Your good Spirit to instruct them, and withheld not Your manna from their mouth, and gave them water for their thirst [even though they continually worshipped the other gods]. 21 Yea, forty years did You sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not.   Back


Note 3:

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Psalm 106:

19 They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image. 20 Thus they changed their Glory into the similitude [likeness] of an ox that eats grass. 21 They forgot God their Saviour, which had done great things in Egypt; 22 wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red sea. 23 Therefore He said that He would destroy them, had not Moses His chosen stood before Him in the breach, to turn away His wrath, lest He should destroy them. Back


Note 4.

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Hosea 8:

1 Set the trumpet to your mouth [and warn the people]. He [Satan’s agent] shall come as an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed My covenant, and trespassed against My law. 2 Israel shall cry to Me, "My God, we know You [help us]."


3 [But] Israel has cast off the thing that is good: the enemy shall pursue him. 4 They have set up kings, but not by Me [this was another case of them wanting something so badly He had to give it to them, 1 Samuel 10:19]: they have made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off.

5 Your calf [your god], O Samaria [aka Israel], has cast you off. My anger is kindled against them: how long will it be ere they attain to innocency [repentance]? 6 For from Israel was it also: the workman made it; therefore it is not [the living] God: but the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces. 7 For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind. It has no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up. 8 Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure.  Back   Back again


Note 5:

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Deuteronomy 7:

17 If you shall say in your heart, "These nations are more than I; how can I dispossess them?" 18 You shall not be afraid of them: but shall well remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh, and to all Egypt; 19 the great temptations [tests] which your eyes saw, and the signs, and the wonders, and the mighty hand, and the stretched out arm, whereby the LORD your God brought you out: so shall the LORD your God do to all the people of whom you are afraid. [Israel did not fight or kill at all until after they crossed the Red sea.]

20 Moreover the LORD your God will send the Hornet [aka the Holy Spirit] among them, until they that are left, and hide themselves from you, be [self]destroyed. 21 You shall not be frightened at them: for the LORD your God is among you, a mighty God and terrible. 22 And the LORD your God will put out those nations before you by little and little: you may not consume them [take over their land] at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon you. 23 But the LORD your God shall deliver them [the fields] to you, and [He] shall destroy them [the nations] with a mighty destruction, until they be destroyed.   Back   Back again


Note 6:

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Ezekiel 20:23-26

“I lifted up My hand to them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries; because they had not executed My judgments, but had despised My statutes, and had polluted My sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers' idols. 

“Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live; and I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that opens the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the LORD.”  Back


 Leviticus 9:3

And to the children of Israel you shall speak, saying, “Take you a kid of the goats for a sin offering; and a calf and a lamb, both of the first year, without blemish, for a burnt offering. . . “   Back

 


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