“Go down; for your people… have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them…”

Exodus 32  - Printable Download

Exodus 32 - Printable Download


Opening Prayer Led by Group Facilitator


Psalm 97

Pray the Psalm together aloud, alternating verses between two sides.  When finished, share reflections on the Psalm as a group

1  The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the many islands be glad!

2  Clouds and thick darkness are round about him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.

3  Fire goes before him, and burns up his adversaries round about.

4 His lightnings lighten the world; the earth sees and trembles.

5 The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the LORD of all the earth.

6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness; and all the peoples behold his glory.

7 All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols; let all his angels bow down before him.

8 Zion hears and is glad, and the daughters of Judah rejoice, because of your judgments, O God.

9 For you, O LORD are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.

10 The LORD loves those who hate evil; he preserves the lives of his saints; he delivers them from the hand of the wicked.

11 Light dawns for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart.

12 Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.

The Golden Calf

Exodus 32

1.       What prompts the Israelites to turn away from the LORD and make their own god? How do you deal with the “delay” of the LORD?  What do you make a god of when the LORD appears distant or uncertain?

2.     Moses comes to the defense of his flock despite his knowledge that they have done something evil.  As a Patriarch, how do navigate defending your children even when they are in the wrong?

3.     Aaron is Moses’ brother.  How is Aaron’s “turning against his brother” different than other accounts in Genesis of brothers turning against a sibling?  Why does Aaron renounce his brother so quickly?  How have you handled siblings turning against you?  How does a Patriarch train his children not to give up on a sibling, even when they feel hurt or abandoned by them?

4.     How is Aaron’s answer to Moses (verse 24) different than what his actual actions were (verse 4)?  What trait has been passed down through the generations, beginning with Adam, when a man is caught doing something wrong? How can you help counteract this trait in your own family? 

5.     Instead of reusing the valuable gold that was used to create the golden calf, Moses completely destroys it, then makes the Israelites drink the ashes of the destroyed calf.  Why does he do this?  How does this inform how a Patriarch establishes consequences for his children when they do something wrong?

6.     Moses chooses to not to ignore the sin of the people and enacts a grave punishment for their sin.  What is this punishment?  How does he first extend an offer of mercy to the Israelites?  How can a Patriarch demonstrate both mercy and punishment to his children when they have committed a grave wrong? 

7.     What heroic request does Moses ask of the LORD when he tries to make atonement for Israel’s sins?  How is this a model for a Patriarch’s actions when he needs to atone for the wrong committed by his family?

Prayer Partners

Discuss with your prayer partner the success/failure of your previous resolution & offer a vocal prayer for one another.


Previous SESSION  Exodus 19-20 The Ten Commandments

Previous SESSION
Exodus 19-20
The Ten Commandments

Next SESSION  Exodus 33 The Command to Leave Sinai

Exodus 33
The Command to Leave Sinai



Banner Image: "Adoration of the Golden Calf” by Antonio Molinari [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible—Second Catholic Edition (Ignatius Edition) copyright © 2006 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.