Thoughts and Reflection
As Moses is on Mount Sinai and receives the Ten Commandments from God, the Israelites become restless and uncertain and they fashion a golden calf to worship. This illustrates the human condition of how we become restless and tired of waiting. We will take matters into our own hands and that is what the Israelites did. They created a Golden Calf. Moses was upset after seeing what happened while he was gone. We too can turn to idols. How often do we create a “new version” of God that we can take out when we need him and put him away when we are done?
There are a lot of broken hearts that God is trying to reach. As the Israelites journey through the wilderness, the Lord is training his people to let go of seeking to control and rather put their faith in him. The world is uncertain and so is our lives. Our world is uncertain and so is our lives. We can’t control God, but we have to have faith that he is there alongside us.
About This Project
For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!
1 When the people saw that Moses was a long time before coming down the mountain, they gathered round Aaron and said to him, ‘Get to work, make us a god to go at our head; for that Moses, the man who brought us here from Egypt — we do not know what has become of him.’
2 Aaron replied, ‘Strip off the gold rings in the ears of your wives and your sons and daughters, and bring them to me.’
3 The people all stripped off the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron.
4 He received what they gave him, melted it down in a mould and with it made the statue of a calf. ‘Israel,’ the people shouted, ‘here is your God who brought you here from Egypt!’
5 Observing this, Aaron built an altar before the statue and made this proclamation, ‘Tomorrow will be a feast in Yahweh’s honour.’
6 Early next morning they sacrificed burnt offerings and brought communion sacrifices. The people then sat down to eat and drink, and afterwards got up to amuse themselves.
7 Yahweh then said to Moses, ‘Go down at once, for your people whom you brought here from Egypt have become corrupt.
8 They have quickly left the way which I ordered them to follow. They have cast themselves a metal calf, worshipped it and offered sacrifice to it, shouting, “Israel, here is your God who brought you here from Egypt!” ‘
9 Yahweh then said to Moses, ‘I know these people; I know how obstinate they are!
10 So leave me now, so that my anger can blaze at them and I can put an end to them! I shall make a great nation out of you instead.’
11 Moses tried to pacify Yahweh his God. ‘Yahweh,’ he said, ‘why should your anger blaze at your people, whom you have brought out of Egypt by your great power and mighty hand?
12 Why should the Egyptians say, “He brought them out with evil intention, to slaughter them in the mountains and wipe them off the face of the earth?” Give up your burning wrath; relent over this disaster intended for your people.
13 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to whom you swore by your very self and made this promise: “I shall make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven, and this whole country of which I have spoken, I shall give to your descendants, and it will be their heritage for ever.”
14 Yahweh then relented over the disaster which he had intended to inflict on his people.
15 Moses turned and came down the mountain with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, tablets inscribed on both sides, inscribed on the front and on the back.
16 The tablets were the work of God, and the writing on them was God’s writing, engraved on the tablets.
17 When Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, ‘There is the sound of battle in the camp!’
18 But he replied: No song of victory is this sound, no lament for defeat this sound; but answering choruses I hear!
19 And there, as he approached the camp, he saw the calf and the groups dancing. Moses blazed with anger. He threw down the tablets he was holding, shattering them at the foot of the mountain.
20 He seized the calf they had made and burned it, grinding it into powder which he scattered on the water, and made the Israelites drink it.
21 Moses then said to Aaron, ‘What have these people done to you for you to have brought so great a sin on them?’
22 Aaron replied, ‘My lord should not be so angry. You yourself know what a bad state these people are in!
23 They said to me, “Make us a god to go at our head; for that Moses, the man who brought us here from Egypt — we do not know what has become of him.”
24 I then said to them, “Anyone with gold, strip it off!” They gave it to me. I threw it into the fire and out came this calf!’
25 When Moses saw that the people were out of hand — for Aaron had let them get out of hand to the derision of their enemies all round them-
26 Moses then stood at the gate of the camp and shouted, ‘Who is for Yahweh? To me!’ And all the Levites rallied round him.
27 He said to them, ‘Yahweh, God of Israel, says this, “Buckle on your sword, each of you, and go up and down the camp from gate to gate, every man of you slaughtering brother, friend and neighbour.” ‘
28 The Levites did as Moses said, and of the people about three thousand men perished that day.
29 ‘Today’, Moses said, ‘you have consecrated yourselves to Yahweh, one at the cost of his son, another of his brother; and so he bestows a blessing on you today.’
30 On the following day Moses said to the people, ‘You have committed a great sin. But now I shall go up to Yahweh: perhaps I can secure expiation for your sin.’
31 Moses then went back to Yahweh and said, ‘Oh, this people has committed a great sin by making themselves a god of gold.
32 And yet, if it pleased you to forgive their sin. . .! If not, please blot me out of the book you have written!’
33 Yahweh said to Moses, ‘Those who have sinned against me are the ones I shall blot out of my book.
34 So now go and lead the people to the place I promised to you. My angel will indeed go at your head but, on the day of punishment, I shall punish them for their sin.’
35 And Yahweh punished the people for having made the calf, the one Aaron had made.
1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:
2 ‘Speak to the Israelites and say: (The solemn festivals of Yahweh to which you will summon them are my sacred assemblies.) “These are my solemn festivals:
3 “You will work for six days, but the seventh will be a day of complete rest, a day for the sacred assembly on which you do no work at all. Wherever you live, this is a Sabbath for Yahweh.
4 “These are Yahweh’s solemn festivals, the sacred assemblies to which you will summon the Israelites on the appointed day:
5 “The fourteenth day of the first month, at twilight, is the Passover of Yahweh;
6 and the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of Unleavened Bread for Yahweh. For seven days you will eat unleavened bread.
7 On the first day you will hold a sacred assembly; you will do no heavy work.
8 For seven days you will offer food burnt for Yahweh. On the seventh day there will be a sacred assembly; you will do no heavy work.” ‘
9 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:
10 ‘Speak to the Israelites and say: “When you enter the country which I am giving you and reap the harvest there, you will bring the priest the first sheaf of your harvest,
11 and he will present it to Yahweh with the gesture of offering, for you to be acceptable. The priest will make this offering on the day after the Sabbath,
12 and on the same day as you make this offering, you will offer Yahweh an unblemished lamb one year old as a burnt offering.
13 The cereal offering for that day will be two-tenths of wheaten flour mixed with oil, as food burnt as a smell pleasing to Yahweh. The libation will be a quarter of a hin of wine.
14 You will eat no bread, roasted ears of wheat or fresh produce before this day, before making the offering to your God. This is a perpetual law for all your descendants, wherever you live.
15 “From the day after the Sabbath, the day on which you bring the sheaf of offering, you will count seven full weeks.
16 You will count fifty days, to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then you will offer Yahweh a new cereal offering.
17 You will bring bread from your homes to present with the gesture of offering — two loaves, made of two-tenths of wheaten flour baked with leaven; these are first-fruits for Yahweh.
18 In addition to the bread, you will offer seven unblemished lambs a year old, a young bull and two rams, as a burnt offering to Yahwehwith a cereal offering and a libation, as food burnt as a smell pleasing to Yahweh.
19 You will also offer a goat as a sacrifice for sin, and two lambs a year old as communion sacrifice.
20 The priest will present them before Yahweh with the gesture of offering, in addition to the bread of the first-fruits. These, and the two lambs, are holy things for Yahweh, and will revert to the priest.
21 “On the same day, you will hold an assembly; for you this will be a sacred assembly; you will do no heavy work. This is a perpetual law for your descendants, wherever you live.
22 “When you reap the harvest in your country, you will not reap to the very edges of your field, nor will you gather the gleanings of the harvest. You will leave them for the poor and the stranger. I am Yahweh your God.” ‘
23 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:
24 ‘Speak to the Israelites and say: “The first day of the seventh month will be a day of rest for you, of remembrance and acclamation, a sacred assembly.
25 You will do no heavy work and you will offer food burnt for Yahweh.” ‘
26 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:
27 ‘But the tenth day of this seventh month will be the Day of Expiation. You will hold a sacred assembly. You will fast and offer food burnt for Yahweh.
28 You will do no work that day, for it is the Day of Expiation, on which the rite of expiation will be performed for you before Yahweh your God.
29 Anyone who fails to fast that day will be outlawed from his people;
30 anyone who works that day I shall eliminate from his people.
31 No work will be done — this is a perpetual law for your descendants wherever you live.
32 It must be a day of complete rest for you. You will fast; on the evening of the ninth day of the month, from this evening till the following evening, you will rest completely.’
33 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:
34 ‘Speak to the Israelites and say: “On the fifteenth day of this seventh month there will be the feast of Shelters for Yahweh, lasting for seven days.
35 The first day will be a day of sacred assembly; you will do no heavy work.
36 For seven days you will offer food burnt for Yahweh. On the eighth day you will hold a sacred assembly and you will offer food burnt for Yahweh. It is a day of solemn meeting; you will do no heavy work.
37 “These are Yahweh’s solemn festivals to which you will summon the Israelites, the sacred assemblies for the purpose of offering food burnt for Yahweh, consisting of burnt offerings, cereal offerings, sacrifices and libations, each on its appropriate day,
38 besides Yahweh’s Sabbaths, and your presents and all your votive and voluntary gifts that you make to Yahweh.
39 “But on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the produce of the land, you will celebrate the feast of Yahweh for seven days. The first and eighth days will be days of rest.
40 On the first day you will take choice fruit, palm branches, boughs of leafy trees and flowering shrubs from the river bank, and for seven days enjoy yourselves before Yahweh your God.
41 You will celebrate a feast for Yahweh in this way for seven days every year. This is a perpetual law for your descendants. “You willkeep this feast in the seventh month.
42 For seven days you will live in shelters: all the citizens of Israel will live in shelters,
43 so that your descendants may know that I made the Israelites live in shelters when I brought them out of Egypt, I, Yahweh your God.” ‘
44 Moses then promulgated Yahweh’s solemn festivals to the Israelites.
1 [Psalm Of Asaph] God, the pagans have invaded your heritage, they have defiled your holy temple, they have laid Jerusalem in ruins,
2 they have left the corpses of your servants as food for the birds of the air, the bodies of your faithful for the wild beasts.
3 Around Jerusalem they have shed blood like water, leaving no one to bury them.
4 We are the scorn of our neighbours, the butt and laughing-stock of those around us.
5 How long will you be angry, Yahweh? For ever? Is your jealousy to go on smouldering like a fire?
6 Pour out your anger on the nations who do not acknowledge you, and on the kingdoms that do not call on your name;
7 for they have devoured Jacob and devastated his home.
8 Do not count against us the guilt of former generations, in your tenderness come quickly to meet us, for we are utterly weakened;
9 help us, God our Saviour, for the glory of your name; Yahweh, wipe away our sins, rescue us for the sake of your name.
10 Why should the nations ask, ‘Where is their God?’ Let us see the nations suffer vengeance for shedding your servants’ blood.
11 May the groans of the captive reach you, by your great strength save those who are condemned to death!
12 Repay our neighbours sevenfold for the insults they have levelled at you, Lord.
13 And we, your people, the flock that you pasture, will thank you for ever, will recite your praises from age to age.