What’s Gold, Shaped like a Bull Calf, and a BIG Mistake?

Ten Interesting Stories of Animals in the Bible

Welcome to Week Six

How it works:

  • Listen to the story, then think about the questions.
  • Finally, hear what Sophie and Timley have to say about it!

Click on the picture to hear a reading from Exodus 32.

  1. Did anything in this story surprise you? What did you hear?
  2. We learned last week in Week 5: Moses’ Snakes that God miraculously helped the Israelites escape from slavery in Egypt. There is a lot more to that story! The Red Sea parted to allow the people cross on dry land, God provided water from a rock and food called Manna from heaven. In previous chapters, the people had told Moses that they would always listen to God and obey him. Does that help explain why God and Moses were so furious with the Israelites?
  3. Why do you think that Aaron, Moses’ brother and a leader of the people, gave in so quickly to the people and do what they wanted him to do? If you were one of the Israelites and your leader had disappeared on a mountain for forty days and nights, how would you be feeling? Keep in mind all the miracles that you would have seen AND maybe how scary it would be to be wandering through a dry wilderness with no stores, restaurants, water, or houses. Do you think they should still have trusted God? Why or why not?
  4. What did Aaron tell Moses about the golden calf that the people were worshiping? Do you think Moses believed him? Why do you think Aaron lied to him?
  5. Aaron built an altar and arranged for burnt offerings and “well-being sacrifices,” along with a “festival to the LORD.” God has taught the Israelites to worship him in these ways. Why do they make him so angry now? Does this tell us anything about the difference between being “spiritual” and worshiping Jesus?

Now let’s hear from Sophie and Timley. What have they got to say about it?

Sophie Topfeather (watching Timley wave his toothpick sword madly back and forth): Timley! What on earth are you doing?

Timley Mouse: Take that! And that! You sinful, stubborn Israelite!

Sophie (looking alarmed): Timley!

Timley (breathing heavily and putting the sword back into his red sash around his waist): I’m a Levite! God used the tribe of the Levites to punish the people who had sinned so badly. They really got it (with a paw, Timley made a slicing motion across his throat and then slumped over).

Sophie (covering her eyes with a wing): Stop! Stop!

Timley: Aye, aye matey! I’m sorry. God was really unhappy with them, and about 3000 of them died at Moses’ command.

Sophie (flapping her wings nervously): Was there anything that they could do to get right with God again? I mean, we make mistakes and sin against God sometimes, too! Can we get right with God?

Timley: Moses spoke to God and begged him to forgive them. I don’t know for sure what happened to those people, but I DO know that the Bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” He’s got us covered!

Author’s Note: Sophie and Timley are characters from a novel for kids ages 8-12, Sophie’s Quest, by Sonja Anderson


About Sonja Anderson

I write novels and short stories for children, and occasionally a book or article for adults, too. I grew up in Ohio, and I have lived in Chicago, Connecticut, Boston, Tokyo, and Seattle. The beautiful Pacific Northwest inspires me every day.
This entry was posted in Bible Stories, Faith, Sophie's Quest and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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