When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” (Ex. 32:5)

Golda Meir, former prime minister of Israel, quipped that she had one thing against Moses—he took the Jews forty years into the desert in order to bring them to the one place in the Middle East that had no oil.

When that desert generation of Jews was camped near Mount Sinai, they too had something against Moses but they weren’t smiling about it. Moses, their leader, had gone up into the mountain and not returned. The discontented, idol-prone people grew restive and demanded that Aaron, an eloquent but spiritually weaker man, make a golden calf to go before the people and be worshiped.

Moses had instructed the people to worship the only true God, but without Moses to guide them, the Israelites abandoned themselves to wanton idolatry of their own design and desire. They angered God and the consequences were horrific. Thousands died because they broke their worship covenant with God.

We need Spirit-filled leaders to preach the Word and ensure that church worship reflects God’s splendor and holiness. Without pastors of godly strength to give guidance, error and discord will eventually rise up. However, each of us also needs to guard our hearts against setting personalities, programs, or methods above worship of God himself.

Music, prayer, and ministry are wonderful opportunities for adoration, but only what is done God’s way and for Him alone will be accepted by Him.

Undertake a study this week on what God expects in our worship of Him.

Carol Chase and her husband live in Surrey, British Columbia. She is a retired administrative supervisor, enjoys gardening, and loves to pray for others.