The Israelites were divinely removed from slavery in Egypt by the mighty hand of God. They were in the desert under leadership of Moses and were waiting for Moses at the foot of Mt Sinai. Yes he had disappeared over a month before up into an active volcano. They began to be afraid. Moses was gone. The security of Egypt, even as slaves began to look enticing. Aaron was there but not with the leadership of his brother.
And so was the first Golden Calf sculpted by Aaron and presented to the people as their god.
Now, the calf image came from the Egyptian idol Hathor - a goddess of joy, feminine love, motherhood and music is a bit of what I found. But it was an idea born of the systems and gods of the land they had lived in for over 400 years.
The second presentation of a god was to lead the 10 tribes of Israel after Solomon's reign. It was 2 golden calves, one set up at Bethel, and one in Dan. This was done by Jeroboam, whom God had spoken to as becoming a leader over Israel while Solomon was still alive. Jeroboam ran away to EGYPT to preserve his life and lived there til Solomon's death. He returned from Egypt with the idea, I suspect, that the reason Egypt was strong and place of safety in the world was it's gods.
The influence in both cases was Egypt. I began to think of what may be Egypt in me.
One factor for Israel, as with us, is an unseen God. For Israel, a man, Moses spoke on God's behalf. God did offer to speak to the whole body of people who came out of Egypt but they in fear declined. Today we too have an unseen God who ministers to us through his written word, given through men over 2,000 years ago. And we also have as believers today the direct touch of God in and on our lives but it is through faith not by a visual encounter by most.
The gods of Egypt and the surrounding nations allowed them to live and enjoy life and didn't require of them moral laws to guide their lives. They could do what they desired yet still had seed time and harvest and the other joys of living.
This is true in the world today. My rights are an Egyptian type stronghold? We don't have actual carved idols in the United States in general. But we have influences that make out what God has called sin to be in error. We fudge on word of God, where it comes in conflict with what we want that the world offers as fun. God is portrayed as a mean spoiler of our fun by the world and we join the herd believing it.
i.e. God says in the word he knit us together in the womb. We have life not just because an egg was germinated by a sperm. The life in our body is God's breath in us - in every human created in the world. It is God who imparts life in us in the womb, not a sperm and ovum. But we say our bodies are our own and that murdering that life is our right. Just one case in point. There are many more.
I believe the Egyptian taint is active today, as it was when the Israelite's were slaves in Egypt and influenced by the ideas, mores and gods they found there. Not just in major big ways we flout God's ways when they run contrary to our desires, but in many ways how we think and act. Let us bring our lives under the hand of our LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ and ask Him to cleanse and free us from the bondage of Egypt.