I've been meditating on this series that we're doing on the person and work of the Holy Spirit, of how serious a thing it is to attempt to worship God in a way that He rejects. And I keep going back in my mind to the book of Exodus and in the thirty-second chapter of Exodus while Moses was up on the mountain, getting the Law of God, communing with God, the people down below made a golden calf. And they had sort of an interesting explanation.
When Moses came down and found this golden calf made out of everybody's gold thrown into a fire, the answer of the people was something like this, "You know, we just threw it all in a fire and fffttt...look what came out." And that was their explanation that it was some kind of an esoteric experience. And the Lord spoke to Moses and said, "You're going to have to go down there because the people have corrupted themselves. They have made for themselves a molten calf and worshiped it, sacrificed to it and said, 'This is your God, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.'"
This was a total misrepresentation of the nature of God. And it was more than that, it was a total misrepresentation of the work of God because they began to do things that were ungodly, immoral and ugly around that golden calf and God called for the slaughter of thousands of them, as you remember, and before the day was over, many thousands died and a promise came from God that many more thousands would die as well....