Exodus 32:1 ESV
These are the same people who told Moses you meet with God, tell us what He says, and we will do it.
Has much changed since that time?
Moses goes up, hears from God, comes down the mountain with words of God on stone tablets only to find the people making their own God.
They didn't want to wait on God or for Moses so they took matters in their own hands.
Ex. 32:1 When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain...
Ok, stop, time out the people knew where Moses was and what he was doing. They where right there at the base of the mountain. They were close enough to know something was going on and far enough away not to be impacted by it.
Again, we have to remember what they had experienced up to this point. It's not like God hadn't totally validated and confirmed Moses as their leader. They certainly can't say they hadn't seen the power of God at work. So, now things are taking too long and they call foul-delay of game- and completely turn their backs on Moses.
Does this sound familiar?
The truth be told, I like to think I'm the good guy. I'm the godly one. It hurts to admit it but I respond pretty much the same way. I am the "Fickle One" God takes too long and doesn't show up in my alotted time frame. I don't agree with or like what He is saying or doing. So, what's my response? I justify my actions and rationalize my rebellion.
It is so much easier to point the finger at the Israelites and others. The truth is I am just as wretched and rebellious as they were. It's like looking in the mirror. I can't ignore what I see. The beauty in this is that despite this reality God loves me. It also reminds me how much I need Him. He is enough!