Exodus 32–34 has serious lessons about worship. Notice how the LORD described Israel after they…take this in slowly…worshipped a 👏 golden 👏 calf 👏 at the foot of the very mountain where the living God of all creation, who set his love on them through redemption from slavery, has come down to meet with them. And the Lord said to Moses, ‘I have seen this people and behold, it is a stiff-necked people’ ” (Exodus 32:9). ” ‘Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I will not go up among you lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people’ ” (Exodus 33:3). Moses agreed with the Lord’s assessment in Exodus 34:9 — “O LORD, please let the LORD go in the midst of us, for it is a stiff-necked people.” How did Israel get the ignominious description, which meant that they were stubborn people? There is a book by G.K. Beale that is entitled We Become What We Worship: A Biblical Theology of Idolatry. Beale argues that “we take on the characteristics of what we worship.” In essence, we reflect what we worship. Israel worshiped a stiff-neck calf, characteristically stubborn, and took on the characteristics of being stiff-necked stubborn people. Our worship is not only our right response to the glory of God. It is also the very means that we reflect him and take on his characteristics.
Worship well this week Jubilee,