THIS IS YOUR GOD...“It’s a golden calf from the Bible, a false idol, the Bull of Wall Street...The piece hints at the Capital system as an idol that we have worshiped for decades and is unfortunately proving to be false," said the artist Errazuriz at the unveiling of his Golden Calf piñata in New York City in 2014. Filled with $1000 in single bills, the glittering, 15ft high, 24ft long beast was whacked with "Communist red" sticks until dollar bills rained down on participants.
Not far away is the 700-pound Charging Bull of Wall Street, the chosen symbol of the “power of the American people". Standing 11 feet high, 18 feet long, with his head down and nostrils flared, he does indeed look poised to seize control of the very street that controls the fortunes of the entire world.
Whether it's the Golden Calf piñata or the Wall Street Bull, history does have a way of expressing itself in exactly the same manner. That’s because the fallen, prideful nature of mankind is always challenging the omniscience of the Almighty through their own manipulation and design. However, for us Christians, a huge red flag should be visible in all this, and it’s not the matador who’s waving it.
Prophetically, the red flag is God's Word calling our attention to the anniversary of ancient Israel's creation of the very first Golden Calf. June 30 on our 2018 Gregorian calendar, the 16th day of the 4th month on God's timeline for mankind, marks ancient Israel's feeble attempt to control their national destiny through the inspiration of an image made entirely from the symbol of wealth.
Exodus 32 relates the sad account. "Now when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron and said to him, 'Come, make us a god who will go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.' Aaron said to them, 'Tear off the gold rings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.' Then all the people tore off the gold rings which were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. He took this from their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool and made it into a molten calf; and they said, 'This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.' Now when Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made a proclamation and said, 'Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord.' So the next day they rose early and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play."
"Then the Lord spoke to Moses, 'Go down at once, for your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them. They have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it and have sacrificed to it and said, 'This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!’ The Lord said to Moses, 'I have seen this people, and behold, they are an obstinate people. Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them; and I will make of you a great nation.'”
At this point, it was painfully obvious that someone had to intervene. While he was on the Holy Mountain with the Lord, Moses entreated the Lord, saying, "“Why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth?' Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’ Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened."
So, Moses came down the mountain with the Ten Commandments that God had given Israel. But what he saw stopped him dead in his tracks. "When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain. And he took the calf the people had made and burned it in the fire; then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it."
Sadly, this week marks not only the Israelite sin of worshipping the Golden Calf, but the next day, July 1 on our 2018 Gregorian calendar, also commemorates the destruction of the Commandments tablet by Moses.
"Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies. So he stood at the entrance to the camp and said, 'Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.’ And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves to him. "
Yes, when it comes to turning away from the Golden Calf, it IS that simple. We can’t serve two Gods. We will always love one more than the other. Whether we are placing our confidence in the Bull of Wall Street “futures” or whacking frantically on the Golden piñata of “free” government programs to bail us out of hard times, we are definitely not moving toward the Lord.
There is always a price for waving another God in the face of the Almighty. Moses told the Levites, who chose to stand with him, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’ The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. Then Moses said, 'You have been set apart to the Lord today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day.'”
“...So Moses went back to the Lord and said, 'Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.'”
Sometimes we are called to make some very tough decisions as Christians. Right this very moment, God’s Word resonates with the same authority and power as it did when Moses uttered those succinct, commanding words 3500 years ago to God’s chosen people. “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me..."
THIS IS YOUR GOD…