Saturday, May 17, 2014

Lesson - The Golden Calf

VERSES:   Exodus 32:1-35

MEMORY VERSE:   Exodus 32:31  "...this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:  Review all 39 books of the Old Testament

PRAYER:   May we always love and serve the LORD God only all the days of our lives.

SPECIAL SONG:   The B-I-B-L-E  (see February - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #2 on this blog)

VISUAL AID:  Chalkboard or Whiteboard Drawing.  Draw the golden calf as you tell the story. (See step-by-step directions below under Activity. To help keep attention on the board, draw a little at a time, telling bits of the story between drawings.)

LESSON POINTS:  (This is a longer lesson, but the activity is easy, quick, and inexpensive!)
  • Remember last time God gave something to Moses. Does anyone remember what God gave Moses? That's right! He gave him two tablets of stone that God had written with His own finger. Does anyone remember how long Moses had been on Mt.Sinai? Yes! 40 days and 40 nights. That's also how many days and nights that it rained when Noah and his family was in the ark, wasn't it? Maybe that will help us remember how long Moses was up on the mountain--40 days and 40 nights! Do you remember where the great multitude of people was all the time Moses was up on the mountain? That's right! They were down at the bottom of the mountain. Could they climb up the mountain to check on Moses and see how he was doing? No! What would happen to anyone who touched the mountain that God did not say it was OK for them to come up? They would die!
  • Remember what God told the people two times NOT to do? That's right! They were not to have any other gods before Him, no idols at all. Now, when God says something ONE time that should should be enough for anyone, but when God says something TWICE, we had better listen because it is very important! God had said that He was a jealous God and if the people would serve Him and Him only and keep His commandments, then He would show mercy to them. (Ex. 20:6)  
  • Down at the bottom of the mountain, the people were forgetting about God and how He had taken such good care of them in the wilderness. God had protected them from the Egyptians, He had given them quail and manna to eat and water to drink. He done many things for the people, but they were forgetting about God. When the people saw that Moses wasn't coming down from the mountain when THEY thought he should come down, they said to Aaron, Moses' brother, "Make gods for us. We do not know what became of this Moses who brought us out of Egypt." So, Aaron, who was in charge of the people while Moses was gone, told the people to give him everyone's golden earrings that they had brought from Egypt and they did. Aaron took all of their golden earrings and made a golden calf with a graving tool. Was this what Aaron should have done? NO! This golden calf was an IDOL--something that God had told no one to make! Aaron should have known better! The people should have known better! The people said that this was now Israel's god. Aaron build an altar for the golden calf and said that the next day, they would have a feast. The next day, they got up very early in the morning and offered sacrifices and peace offerings to the golden calf. The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to play.
  • Did God know what the people were doing? YES! God knows and sees everything! God knew what they were doing and what they had made and told Moses to go down the mountain because the people which you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. "Corrupt" means to be not be pure anymore; the people were not clean inside because they done something bad that God told them not to do. God told Moses that the people had quickly forgotten Him and had made a golden calf and had worshiped it and have sacrificed to it. God was angry! He told Moses that the people were stiffnecked or a stubborn people.  God told Moses to go away because He was very angry and was almost to the point that He wanted to consume the people. He said that He would make a great nation out of Moses instead. But when Moses heard that, Moses reasoned with the LORD on the people's behalf. Moses asked God what the Egyptians would think. By God delivering His people with great power and a strong hand, the Egyptians might say that God brought the Israelites to the wilderness for mischief, to kill them. Moses said to remember Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Moses was trying to save the Israelites' lives and the people didn't even know it! What were they doing? They were laughing, and eating, and drinking, and playing around a golden calf! They didn't even know they were in trouble! But they should have known!! 
  • Moses persuaded God not to do any harm to the people and Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tables of stone in his hands. The bible says something unusual, something that most people don't know. Let's turn our Bibles to Exodus 32:15. (Read verse.) Let's place out bookmarks right there. Did you know that BOTH sides of the tablets of stone were written by God? They were written by God in stone on two sides! 
  • As Moses was coming down the mountain, Moses met Joshua and Joshua told Moses that there was a noise in the camp, but Joshua thought it was the sound of war. He thought that someone was fighting at the bottom of the mountain. Moses told Joshua that it was not sound of war, but it was singing that he heard. 
  • As soon as Moses came down the mountain close to the camp, he saw the golden calf and the dancing and Moses' grew very, very angry!! He was so angry that he threw down the precious tablets of stone and broke them to pieces! When he got to the camp, he took the golden calf and burnt it in the fire and ground it into powder and made the children of Israel DRINK IT!  Moses was also angry with his brother, Aaron. He asked him what was he thinking of? Why did he bring such a great sin on the people? Aaron offered a not-so-smart answer. He said that that the people had given them all of their earrings and when he threw them in the fire, a golden calf came out! Was that true? NO! Aaron made it with a graven tool, remember? When Moses saw that the people did not have any clothes on, Moses asked the people, "Who is on the LORD's side? Let him come to me." All of the sons of Levi came to Moses. So Moses told the sons of Levi to take their swords and go through the camp and there were 3000 men killed that day.
  • Moses told the people the next day that the people had sinned a GREAT sin and that he was going to go back up the mountain and talk to God that he might make peace with God on behalf of the people. Moses asked God that He might not blot his name or the people's name out of God's book. God told Moses that whoever sinned against Him, then He would erase from His book. He told Moses to take the people to the land of milk and honey. We will see next time that God has more to say about the people's great sin.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • God is a good God and tells us what sin is, so that we can keep ourselves pure.Take a look at the definitions of what sin is in these verses below. 
    • 1 John. 3:4  - transgression of the law
    • 1 John.5:17 - all unrighteousness
    • James. 4:17 - to know to do good and not do it
    •  Rom. 14:23 - whatever is not of faith
ACTIVITY:  The Golden Calf
Materials needed:  9" x 12" gold or yellow construction paper, black crayon
  1. Hand out paper to students.
  2. Have student draw a calf with black crayon.  Yes, they can do this! As long as it has a head, body, 2 ears, and four legs, it is a calf.
  3. Draw a box under the calf like he is standing on it.
  4. Write "The Golden Calf" + "Exodus 32" in the box.