Wednesday, May 2

Swapping Glory for an image of a grass-eating ox

Scripture: 1 Chronicles 16, Psalm 106, Matthew 19

Psalm 106:19-21 At Horeb they made a calf and worshiped the cast metal image. 20 They exchanged their glory for the image of a grass-eating ox. 21 They forgot God their Savior, who did great things in Egypt…


This psalm tells the story of Israel’s long unfaithfulness to God.  These verses refer to Aaron making the golden calf which Israel worshipped.  Notice the verbs: they made, they exchanged, they forgot.  

They made an idol.  They ended up worshipping something their own hands had made.  If you can make it, it’s not worth worshipping!

They exchanged their glory (God) for the image of grass-eating ox.  What vivid words!  Imagine exchanging the most valuable thing you have for something worthless.  This makes many of the Mariners’ trades over the years look good!

They forgot God and the great things He had done for them in Egypt and in the desert.  How quickly we forget!  Especially when we exchange God for something worthless we have made.


Idolatry is making something more important than God.  We do it all the time.  And every time we do, we are exchanging the most important, most valuable thing for something far, far less.  We are swapping Glory for an image of a grass-eating ox.  It’s crazy…but we all do it.

We regularly face choices like the Israelites did when Moses stayed too long on the mountain.  God seems far away, distant.  We need answers, reassurance.  Something shiny, something attractive catches our distracted attention, and the next thing you know, we’ve exchanged God for whatever glitters, and quickly forget God.  

We need to remember that He is our Glory—our Life.  Nothing else will satisfy.  All the other options are just an “image of a grass-eating ox.”  

Prayer: Lord, don’t let me forget all You have done for me.  And when my attention drifts and something looks attractive, remind me again that You alone are my Glory, my Life.