Now it’s Moses’ turn to be mad. He sees that golden calf and the dancing, sounds like maybe nude dancing, and he gets mad. The Ten Commandments are broken; they are worshiping another god and had made an idol, and the tablets with the law written on by them by the finger of God are broken.
Moses grinds the calf into a powder, pours it on water, and makes the people drink it. It will come out the other end. That’s what their god amounted to.
Aaron pretends he’s mostly innocent of the whole thing, even as their leader. He throws everyone else under the bus, saying they are evil. He talks like this idol just fell into his lap instead of the truth that he formed it.
Moses sees the wild, out-of-control party and asks, “Who is on the Lord’s side?”
Now, I can’t imagine the scene, but from what we know of the story, all the sons of Levi come to his side. That seems supernatural, that they were aware of Moses and could hear him and his heart cry, and could all be assembled in the midst of all that.
Moses commands them to go throughout the camp and kill people worshiping this idol, even if it is their friend or neighbor. They kill 3,000 people. This is the blood of their ordination. Aaron and his sons are of the tribe of Levi. They were ordained priests by blood. Now, the whole tribe has had their ordination. They will be in charge of the things of the tabernacle. It was bought with blood.
Back in the day, Levi and Simeon had drawn their sword to avenge their sister Dinah. Jacob had called them men of violence when he pronounced Levi’s blessing. Here God redeems their violence and puts it to the good of His people.
Their anger was rightly placed. Does sin make you angry? It reminds me of the verse in 2 Peter 2 about Lot living in Sodom and how his righteous soul was tormented by the lawlessness of those he lived among. Sin, even among those who say they are Christians, abounds. Do you live in righteous torment?