As Moses was receiving God’s handwritten instruction (including, but not limited to the Ten Commandments), even God’s handwritten instruction regarding the role of Aaron in the ministry and worship of Israel, the nation had grown restless.
In Chapter 32 of Exodus, we learn that the nation is begging Aaron to “make gods for us!” And, for some reason (and I have a theory), he complies. Aaron instructs them to bring gold, he then melts it and then shaped it into a golden calf. Then he constructs an altar, and declares that the next day would be a feast or festival to the god who delivered them from Egypt!
This is what happens to leaders who are given the opportunity to lead without correct doctrine, or correct instruction. It’s as though he’s so eager to lead that his desire to be in charge, or to be well-liked, or to, well, lead led him to ignore the obvious. That calf that he made out of gold had absolutely NOTHING to do with getting them out of Egypt.
And should you continue reading in Exodus (and you should), you’ll learn that had Moses not stepped in with a powerful prayer, it would have cost the lives of everyone in Israel save Moses alone. Instead, it still cost them the lives of over 3,000.
That’s a very expensive leadership lesson.
Have you ever been forced to learn something in ministry the hard way? Would you be willing to share and prevent someone else from echoing in that mistake?