While Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving the commands that God gave, the people became worried about whether or not he would return and they demanded that Aaron make gods to lead them.
When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”
So Aaron said to them, “Take off the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off the rings of gold that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf.
And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it.
And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD.” And they rose up early the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings. And the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play. (Exodus 32:1-6)
There is a well known saying, “In the country of the blind the one-eyed man is king.” But is it true? What if there were a country where all the people were blind but had learned to cope with their condition and considered it normal? How would they respond if someone who could see came into their community and told them what it was like to see? Would they believe what he said or consider him a madman?
H. G. Wells wrote a story called “The Country of the Blind” which describes this situation. Here is Wikipedia’s summary of the plot.
Most people have either read this poem by John Godfrey Saxe or have heard the story that it tells.
It was six men of Hindustan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind)
That each by observation
Might satisfy the mind. Read the rest of this entry