“Those who turn from God have nothing but gods of their own making, and these false gods inevitably take concrete form in human life [Romans 1:23]. Idolatry externalizes a false image of the divine. Even as Moses was on the mountain receiving these commandments, the people turned from God. They lost patience. Where was the One who had led them into such a godforsaken wilderness? They wanted a god who would stay put, a god who would be useful as they journeyed toward whatever the future held."
“So they imagined a different deity, and making their imagination concrete, they fashioned a golden calf [Exodus 32:4]. They did not think they had abandoned the God who had saved them (“These be thy gods, O Israel,” Aaron said, “which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt”). But they refashioned God to fit their expectations and to service their desires. They reduced God to a more manageable deity; they exchanged the saving God for a trivial god.”