Set the scene.
You are of slave stock. Your family has been slaves for four centuries, you don’t know anything else. And suddenly you are taking all the gold you can put your hands on and leaving town with all of your people and walking into the desert. You watch as a large body of water separates and you walk through it and then watch your oppressors get destroyed by the waters rushing back in. The large congregation of people walk for a bit longer and then watch as your strangely fearless leader climbs a big mountain to talk to a God that live in fire and lightning and threatens death to all that touch the hill.
At this stage the people of Israel seem to get bored with their newly found freedom and cry for something to bow down to, so Aaron crafts a pretty nice cow and points to it
These are your gods who brought you out of Egypt
This is a similar story that Hindus world-wide have for cows. That they are to be revered because they were the transport of Gods. The people of Israel take it that step further. The cows are architects of rescue, the liberation army.
And reading it 3000 years later we get indignant.
How could they leave God so quickly?
Why couldn’t they just wait a few more days to see Moses come back?
And then we feel indignant as well when someone from a different sect or religion or belief system explains to us how we became people living in 2014.
Logically a golden cow that i made with my human hands can’t really rescue a whole people group from Egyptian slave pits. Experientially i think you would find the same answer. Logically, looking at God from a few different angles He also makes no sense, as he can look violently unjust, anti women, pro slavery, anti anyone that isn’t straight, white or rich and the list goes on. Experientially too, God can be an un-nice character. A life destroying evil character. If your only interactions with God are through the hands of a god-flag waving rapist, bigot, racist capitalist, you would find the same answer.
So one could go back to fruit.
What fruit does one get from fearfully following a God to avoid eternal damnation?
– not the greatest fruit.
What fruit does one get from following a golden cow?
– Not the greatest fruit.
I follow God not just out of logic, which i think is plain to see as I learn more and more about the bible and how we should read it. But i follow God out of experience. For 28 years he has taken me on adventures. Some of these adventures have been soured or made even more fun through the hands of humanity, but through it all Gods love and creativity have been the main star.
No golden cow brought me out of Egypt. God did, and will continue to help me avoid going back to Egypt.