The Lord said to Moses that He filled Bezalel of the tribe of Judah with the Spirit of God in wisdom, understanding, knowledge and all kinds of craftsmanship. He also appointed Oholiab of the tribe of Dan and put skill in their hearts to make all God commanded Moses: tent of meeting, ark of testimony, mercy seat upon it, furniture of tent, table and its utensils, pure gold lampstand with utensils, altar of incense, burnt offering and its utensils, laver and stand, woven garments for Aaron and priests to minister in their priesthood, anointing oil and fragrant incense for the holy place to make according to His commands (Ex. 31:1-11). God provides the creativity, practical insights, technical know-how and skilled labor to succeed in business, science, technology and art.
Moses commanded Israel to observe His Sabbaths as a sign and perpetual covenant throughout their generations so they could know God who sanctified them. He who profaned the Sabbath by doing work would be killed. The Lord ceased from labor on the seventh day and was refreshed after making heaven and earth (Ex. 31:12-17). Rest every seventh day from your creative labor so you can worship God, be refreshed and not die.
When God had finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, He gave him two tablets of testimony written by the finger of God (Ex. 31:18). God wants you to record what He communicates so you don’t forget.
When Moses delayed coming down from mountain, the people told Aaron to make a god since they didn't know what happened to Moses who brought them out of Egypt. Taking gold from their rings, people fashioned a molten calf with a graving tool and said this god brought them out of Egypt. After offering burnt and peace offerings to it, the people sat down to eat, drink and play. Their corruption and stubbornness caused Moses to ask God to change His mind about being angry, destroying Israel and making a great nation for Moses. Since His power brought Israel out of Egypt, the Egyptians would say God wanted to kill them. Moses reminded God of His promise to Abraham of multiplying his descendants so they could inherit the land given to them forever. The Lord changed His mind about harming Israel (Ex. 32:1-14). Leaders influence people to either wait for long-term, eternal character qualities or seek impatiently the visible, temporal, short-term results.
Moses went down from the mountain with the two tablets of testimony that God engraved on the tablets. Moses' anger burned when he saw the calf and the dancing. He shattered the tablets, burned the calf and scattered the powder in the water for Israel to drink (Ex. 32:15-20). A leaders' right response is anger when God’s people sin by disobeying His word.
Moses asked Aaron what Israel did to him that such a great sin was brought upon Israel. Aaron answered that the people were prone to evil and threw the gold given to him "into the fire and out come this calf" (Ex. 32:21-24). A leaders' wrong response is worshiping the material instead of God.
Moses saw how Aaron let the people get out of control to be a derision among their enemies. After the sons of Levi came to Moses being with the Lord, they killed 3000 men with the sword, dedicated themselves to Him and received His blessing (Ex. 32:25-29). True blessing comes by surrendering yourself to His will and using the sword of the Spirit, God's word, to defeat the flesh.
Because the people sinned greatly, Moses could possibly ask God to forgive their sin of making a god of gold. Even though the Lord would blot out the sinners, He told Moses to follow His leadership through His angel going before him. The Lord killed the people for worshiping the calf Aaron made (Ex. 32:30-35). Worshiping business, science, technology, art or material results as an end in themselves cause death in your relationship with God.
To defeat the idol of success, take time to each week to rest, recreate and return to God in worship and prayer. Make that time the highlight of your week to recenter your life.