Many Christians are worshipping golden calf without knowing. And this scenario is happening in many churches across the world. Some Christians believe that when a lady or woman uses earrings, necklaces or chains either in church or outside the church ,it means the person is worshipping idol . Could this be true? Let us look at the word of God for the answer.
What does it means to worship Golden calf rather than God?
Let us look at story of children of Israel from the book of exodus 32..
The story was about Moses when he went to mountain to collect two tablets of testimony from God. And when the children of Israel saw that Moses was delayed from coming down from mountain, the people gather together to Aaron and asked him to give them gods that they can worship. Aaron said to them to break off the golden earrings in the ears of their of their wives, sons and daughters, and they should bring them to him. Aaron collected the items and made a mold golden calf for them to represent their god.
The above story shows us how children of Israel departed from living God and went after idol.
From the above the following can be deduce and which can also serve as a guide to us;
1. Children of Israel always see Moses as God. And Moses is the only one that God speak through.
2. The understanding of God to Israelites is that God is represented by physical being or thing they can see or touch.
3. Israelites only knew God by Miracles/Acts not by the ways of God. Psalm 103 vs 7
4. Since Moses that represents God has went to mountain and they are not sure when he would return, they asked Aaron to give gods that they can worship and see or feel every time
5. It showed that either Moses did not teach children of Israel on how to know God by themselves or the people failed to follow the ways of knowing God by themselves.Jethro gave him counsel on this that he should train people to know God by themselves ( Exodus 18 vs 19-20, ) God also told Moses to gather seventy elders that may learn from him and know the ways of the Lord ( Number 11 vs 16-17
6. Even his assistant, Aaron did not know the ways of knowing God although God spoke to him in Exodus 4 vs 27. This was evident when the people ask him to give them God. He told them to break off golden earrings which are in the ears of their wives , sons and daughters and bring them to him.
7. It means Aaron was only waking with Moses, but he didn’t know the God of Israel despite that he was the spokesman for Moses .
8. Aaron saw the acts / miracles firsthand that God performed through Moses but he did not believe in the God. His mind was with the former god that he was serving in the land of Egypt before Moses who introduced him to living God. That was the reason he introduced Israelites to idol ( Gold calf).
So What lessons can will learn from this story so that we will not join them and golden calf in church
1. As a leader never put yourself in the position of God
2. Never allow people to worship you and turn you to God
3. Please don’t build your ministry only on miracles/acts but on the word of God . Psalm 103 vs 7
4. Teach your assistance and members the ways of knowing God. Please do not serve as God for your assistance and members
5. If your assistance and members only see God in the light of miracles and acts, there will be a times that you will not be available and the option that will be opened to them is to look for golden calf (idol).
6. Teach them that Christianity is a relationship between you and God. This will help them to stay with Jesus rather than looking for idol.
7. In the ministry of Jesus. Jesus taught his disciples on how they should develop their relationship with God.
8. Jesus taught them how to pray to God ( Mattew 6 vs 8-15)
9. Jesus taught them how they should rely on the Holy Spirit (John 14 vs 26-27, John 16 vs 12 – 15). He introduced them to His father in heaven
10. When Jesus left the scene, His disciples didn’t look for idol to worship but instead they follow the ways and steps that Jesus taught on how they could relate and know God.
11. His disciples gathered at upper room to receive Holy Spirit (Acts 1 vs
12. After the baptism of Holy Spirit , the disciples started preaching the gospel of Christ. Acts 2 vs 41 , Peter won 3000 souls to kingdom of God on the first day
13. And the gospel continue to spread everywhere.
14. Act 4 vs 13. People saw Jesus in the life of disciples , when they saw boldness of Peter despite that he was uneducated and untrained but the training of Jesus manifest in their lives.
15. You and I are living witness of Christ today.
The antidotes to prevent people from worshipping Gold calf ( idol)’ are ;
1. Leaders ( Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers, Evangelists) should not exalt themselves to the place of God. Please let God increase and leaders should decrease ( John 3 vs 30)
2. Leaders should teach their members including assistants the ways of knowing God
3. Leaders should encourage members to always seek God on their own ( James 5 vs 16- 18). Please tell them that God listen to their prayers without the help of leaders.
4. God gives leaders to church for equipping of the saints and for the edifying of the body of Christ. Ephesian 4 vs 11- 14
5. Leaders should prevent people from worshipping golden calf( idol)., please introduce to Jesus by encouraging them to develop Personal Relationship with Jesus
6. I pray that God will help to serve Him till the end .
Olayinka Abraham Oluseyi is a Pastor at Living Water Embassy and retired head Retail Marketing at first bank of Nigeria plc.