When the ancient Israelites camped by Mount Sinai in Exodus 32, Moses went up the mountain to meet with God. Days turned into weeks, and the people grew restless. So they asked Aaron—the man in charge while Moses was gone—to create a new deity for them to worship. Aaron gave instructions to collect the jewelry they had brought out of Egypt, and once it had been melted and formed into a golden calf, he built an altar where the people could worship it.
It was a brash move, given the miracles God had already performed for the people. Yet how many times have we similarly lost patience when waiting on God? We might not build an actual idol or a physical altar, but there are many times when we choose to turn elsewhere for comfort and answers. These modern idols can take many forms, and some that are even neutral or positive become harmful when put on a pedestal.