What happened here? The people of Israel have been brought out of bondage in Egypt. They saw the men and chariots of Pharoah swallowed by the sea. They have build the tent of meeting according to God's instructions and have consecrated Aaron and the priests.
But Moses has been on the mountain for three or four weeks, and their fickle hearts need a tangible idol to worship. Goe calls them corrupt and stiff-necked. Aaron calls them prone to evil.
Not so long ago, they were singing praises to God. Now they are participating in worshiping a golden calf made of earrings. Ugh!
But are they so different from us? How often do we have a wonderful time with the Lord and then go back to our everyday lives as if He didn't exist?
Our golden calf may not be composed of melted jewelry, but it can be the struggle for success, the need for financial security (whatever that is), or the desire for the approval of others.
The goal is to be always aware of our God and His pre-eminence in our lives, to bring all else into subjection to His sovereignty.
Only then can we be assured that God is on the throne, and our lives will be in His order.
Keep us ever mindful of the human tendency to arrogance, corruption and evil doing. Deliver us from these evils.