Emil Nolde (1867-1956) Dance Around the Golden Calf - 1910
God might be regretting the promise made to Abraham right about now and in a more irreverent moment one might even imagine the Lord uttering Homer Simpson’s exclamation of resignation… D'oh!!! In the end the Lord’s mind is changed to protect the Lord’s name and preserve the promise to the dysfunctional patriarchal family tree so that the disaster visited upon the stiff necked people won’t turn the Lord into the subject of an Egyptian joke. It is a very human image of God that any loving parent of a willfully disobedient child might recognize. God is stuck with these people brought out of Egypt with mighty power and outstretched hand and throughout the wilderness wandering will have to be talked down from the precipice of hot wrath burning against ungrateful people. No other God puts up with such disrespect or is as long suffering as the God of Israel. I wonder if through the changing of the mind God’s mind becomes fixed to forgive in a far more dramatic way when disaster visited upon the Christ means God’s mind cannot be moved away from mercy no matter how many golden calves are created by God’s own people. Oh but surely there is a consequence for worshipping false idols? Of course there is. The idol you worship is false. Or in other words; you can’t get milk or mercy from a golden calf.