Moses had pleaded for the people, and God had relented in bringing disaster upon the people. But notice what happened when Moses arrived at the camp. Hearing God explain what the Israelites had done was one thing, but hearing it and seeing it was another. And so, seeing and hearing how the Israelites had rebelled against God and how they had scorned Him was too much for Moses. He was filled with a righteous indignation that prompted him to act. He burned the golden calf, ground it into a powder, spread it over the water, and made the people drink it.
How we view Moses’ actions here tells us quite a bit about our view of God. If we see Moses as over-reacting, we might want to pause and consider if we appreciate the gravity of this sin and the holiness of the One it was against. Sin is never to be taken lightly, even by those of us who are in Christ. Yes, all our sin is forgiven, but even the “smallest” sin is still an act of open rebellion against God and dishonors Him.
How do you tend to view sin? How does the gospel address that perspective?