ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 147

E x od u s
Finally, he turned to Aaron and demanded, “What did these people do
to you to make you bring such terrible sin upon them?”
“Don’t get so upset, my lord,” Aaron replied. “You yourself know how
evil these people are. They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will lead us.
We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here
from the land of Egypt.’ So I told them, ‘Whoever has gold jewelry, take it
off.’ When they brought it to me, I simply threw it into the ­fire—­and out
came this calf!”
Moses saw that Aaron had let the people get completely out of control,
much to the amusement of their enemies. So he stood at the entrance to
the camp and shouted, “All of you who are on the Lord’s side, come here
and join me.” And all the Levites gathered around him.
Moses told them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Each
of you, take your swords and go back and forth from one end of the camp
to the other. Kill ­everyone—­even your brothers, friends, and neighbors.”
The Levites obeyed Moses’ command, and about 3,000 people died
that day.
Then Moses told the Levites, “Today you have ordained yourselves for
the service of the Lord, for you obeyed him even though it meant killing
your own sons and brothers. Today you have earned a blessing.”
The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a terrible sin,
but I will go back up to the Lord on the mountain. Perhaps I will be able
to obtain forgiveness for your sin.”
So Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Oh, what a terrible sin these
people have committed. They have made gods of gold for themselves. But
now, if you will only forgive their s­ in—­but if not, erase my name from the
record you have written!”
But the Lord replied to Moses, “No, I will erase the name of everyone
who has sinned against me. Now go, lead the people to the place I told you
about. Look! My angel will lead the way before you. And when I come to
call the people to account, I will certainly hold them responsible for their
Then the Lord sent a great plague upon the people because they had
worshiped the calf Aaron had made.
The Lord said to Moses, “Get going, you and the people you brought
up from the land of Egypt. Go up to the land I swore to give to Abraham,
Isaac, and Jacob. I told them, ‘I will give this land to your descendants.’ And
I will send an angel before you to drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. Go up to this land that flows with
milk and honey. But I will not travel among you, for you are a stubborn
and rebellious people. If I did, I would surely destroy you along the way.”

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