Life of Moses: Apostasy!

Peter Barnes: Exodus 32

(2 June 2019)


– 1 John 5:21.

1. The nature of sin.

– 32:1-6. Calvin refers to their ‘detestable impiety’ and their ‘monstrous madness mixed with stupidity.’

– What is faith? Heb.11:1, 27. We see the result of God’s work, not God Himself. The Golden Calf apostasy is dedicated to Yahweh (32:5).

– idolatry leads to immorality – 32:6. The word ‘to play’ can mean ‘to dance’ in some contexts (as in Judges 16:25 with Samson) or it can denote sexual activity (as in Gen.39:14, 17). It looks like the latter here, and so the NIV uses the word ‘revelry’. When he descends from Mt Sinai, Moses finds the situation is every bit as serious as God had said – 32:7-10, 15-20.

– Moses confronts Aaron – 32:21, 32:22-24. ‘Out came this calf’! means ‘Blame it on the fire!’ Eve could blame it on the fruit.

2. The justice of God.

– God here is fiercely angry – 32:10, 25-29, 35. Moses gets the picture – 32:30. Moses intervenes but God says ‘no’ – 32:33-34.

3. Moses as mediator.

– 32:10, 11-14. Note Gen.12:2. God holds that offer out to Moses, but he refuses it. He

– 32:31-32; see Rom.9:1-3. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote The Death of Moses: God, this people I have loved.

– 1 Tim.2:5; Gal.3:13.