Moses remained on the mountain called Sinai for 40 days while he received God’s law. During this time, the people became impatient. They told Aaron to make them an image out of gold. They wanted to give honour to that image as their god. So Aaron made an image of a young cow.
On a later occasion, the people would behave in an especially wicked manner to give honour to a false god (10:8). But that did not happen on this earlier occasion. Instead, the people behaved like silly children. They ate and they drank (Exodus 32:6). Then they ‘played’. In other words, they sang (Exodus 32:18) and they danced in a foolish manner (Exodus 32:19).
Of course they were free people; God had made them free. But they were not free to do anything that pleased them. They were not free to offend God, who had been so kind to them. He had chosen them to be his people; he had rescued them from their hard lives as slaves in Egypt. They were not free to take honour from God and to give it to the image of a false god. These things were a wrong use of their freedom.
God’s people must not give honour to anyone or anything else as their god (Exodus 20:4-6). Some members of the church at Corinth were eating meat that other people had offered to false gods. Those Christians should be especially careful. They must not give honour to false gods, and they must not cause other people to do that (8:10-12).
Next part: Do not have wrong sex (1 Corinthians 10:8)
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© 2014, Keith Simons.