Exodus 31 – 32
God gives the Law. Aaron makes a calf. Moses breaks the tablets and God holds his anger.
Moses spends days with God writing down The Law. The Bible says that God gave the two tablets to Moses to take back down to the people and that the tablets were written by the very hand of God.
Aaron’s part in the making of the golden calf is sad. The people tell Aaron that they want a new god because Moses has been gone so long and they doubt that God even exists anymore. They can see the cloud and fire on top of the mountain as evidence that God is still there but they doubt. Instead of Aaron helping them to calm their doubt, Aaron goes along with their plan and his version is that they just threw the gold into the fire and out came the calf.
Moses returns from the mountain and becomes so angry he throws the tablets and breaks them. He destroys the calf and takes the gold dust from the calf and puts it in the water for them to drink.
On that day the children of Israel received death. They drank the bitter water that their false god gave to them. The death of the golden calf who was the god that was supposed to save them was a bitter consequence of their sin. God did not judge them in anger at that moment. If we look forward several hundred years, God sends his Son Jesus to take the punishment for all of mankind’s sin. Jesus paid that price and when we remember our salvation when we take communion, we don’t see it as death like the children of Israel drinking their bitter water, but we see life given to us through the shed blood of Jesus. The Law was forever broken and we have redemption from the One True God.