“When Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, “There is a noise of war in the camp.” But he said, “It is not the sound of shouting for victory, or the sound of the cry of defeat, but the sound of singing that I hear.” And as soon as he came near the camp and saw the calf and the dancing,” (Exodus 32: 17-19a, ESV).
I recommend you read the entire 32nd chapter of Exodus for background. The people of Israel were unhappy because Moses “delayed” in coming down from Mt. Sinai. They implored Aaron to make them an idol, and so he did. Amazing on one hand, considering all they had witnessed of God’s delivery and provision. Yet, not hard to comprehend because we are all prone to be dismayed and to desire something more physically tangible. I wonder how many of our own golden calves we have created: idols that are pagan attempts to see and possess what only God can provide us.
I have sat in many a “worship” service. I have found myself enthralled in what I believed was holy and God-honoring. I have found myself troubled at other times. Who or what was the focus of the “worship”? My questioning stimulated the following poem. It might be disturbing or even offensive to some. Perhaps it may also cause each of us to do some honest reflection regarding the focus of our “worship”.
Ranting, chanting, waving, wailing.
Bumping, grinding, moaning, amen-ing.
Gyrations of modernity?
Reminiscences of antiquity?
Sorting out straw from chaff.
Reason lapses, emotions explode.
Or, simply orgasmic religion…
Richard L. Brewer
Save me from spiritual pornography and spiritual masturbation. I want union with the Almighty.