The title of my post is a play on words of an old song entitled “Give me that old-time religion”. Our scripture text is taken from Acts chapter 7 covering the events leading up to the stoning of Stephen. Before they stoned him Stephen recounted a history of the nation of Israel. We will focus on one event in that history, the making of the golden calf. The original account of the story Stephen mentions is in Exodus chapter 32.
In Acts 7:40 the children of Israel told Aaron, Moses’ brother…“Make us gods to go before us”. Moses, as commanded, had ascended the mountain to meet with God. He had been gone, in the estimation of some, too long and his return was called into question. They saw an opportunity to make some changes due to the fact that they were already questioning Moses’ leadership. They had decided to create a god in their image and to their own liking.
You might be thinking “that’s insane”, you can’t create a god. First off I would agree, that is insane, but you don’t have to be a history major to know that since the beginning of recorded time our history is full of such efforts. In my years on this earth I have personally witnessed the birth of new man-made gods.
Why does man seek to create their own god? Clearly, in the case of Israel, they wanted a god they could see. Over and over again the children of Israel desired to be like the nations around them who served rocks, trees, crafted precious metals and even the sun and moon. An inanimate object, like the golden calf, is not going to deliver any laws. This is man’s effort to tell God how things are going to work from now on. How great is this? Decide what your god will look like and how it will act. You can then make up your own rituals and rules to fit your lifestyle. Read the rest of this entry »