Sunday, April 19, 2009

Shining God’s Light on the Koran – the Golden Calf

Sam continues his on-going series, which contrasts the Judeo-Christian Bible with the Islamic Koran on a variety of topics. He aims the beam of the Biblical laser on the Koran to expose, to reveal what it really says. See his previous articles here.


Israeli Idol

God had told the Children of Israel not to worship any other god beside Himself, but they did. Both the Koran and the Holy Bible record this command and disobedience.

Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sins, it shall die
. . . Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, says the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby you have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dies, says the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live. (Ezekiel 18:4, 30-32).

COMMENTARY ON THE KORANIC ACCOUNT

When Moses came to the Children of Israel in Egypt God had given him authentic signs. His staff became a snake and his hand became leprous. This was to show the Children of Israel and Pharaoh that he was sent from God. The One who is: I AM!

While in Egypt God did many signs at Moses hand: Even too the killing of the first-born of the people and of the cattle of Egypt. When Pharaoh sent his army after Israel and they were drowned in the Red Sea. This saved the Children of Israel from Pharaoh. God did even more signs at the hand of Moses like providing water. Later, God called Moses to the top of Mount Sinai for a personal meeting. The people of Israel then chose to worship the image of a calf as their God in the absence of Moses. They were deep in unbelief. After all God had done for them; how could they do it?

Allah and the angels made an agreement with the Children of Israel and issued commands for them to obey. They were to cling to these commands. The Koran claims Mount Sinai was raised above the people at the time the agreement was made. To my knowledge the mountain was all ready there. Israel claimed to hear and understand what Allah and the angels had said, but they said they would not obey Allah and the angels. How then can one have an agreement or a covenant between two parties if one party says they will not abide by the agreement?

Moses ground the image of the calf to powder, then he threw it into the water, and made the Children of Israel drink the water. The Koran claims the mixture went down into their hearts. This was the result of their disbelief. The Koran says that evil is what the faith of the Jews lead them to do, since the Jews believed as they did. What a person believes comes out in their actions.

THE KORANIC ACCOUNT

Moses came to you (Israel) with actual signs from Allah, still, while he was gone, you chose to worship the image of a calf. You did evil (Surah 2:92).

At the time We made a covenant with you and elevated the mountain above you We said: Accept eagerly what We have given you with sureness and obey. Israel said, we hear but will not obey. For their lack of faith they were made to drink the image of the calf into their hearts. Tell them: Evil is what your heart calls you to do if you are indeed believers (Surah 2:93).

COMMENTARY ON THE BIBLICAL ACCOUNT

Moses told the Children of Israel what the commands of God were, and they said they would abide by them. Sadly, when Moses went up onto Mount Sinai, the people worshiped a crafted image of a calf and called it “god”. This was in direct violation of what God had commanded previously. The people had said they would obey God. God was angry enough to strike them all dead at once, but Moses intervened on behalf of the people, and God did not strike them all dead at once. Certainly God wished for the death of Israel at that time. It wasn’t because they were so good.

Moses took the calf which Israel had made and burnt it and ground it to powder, sprinkled it upon the water, and made Israel drink the water.

THE BIBLICAL ACCOUNT

Exodus 19:7, 8 - Moses delivers God’s ordnances to the Children of Israel.
And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.

Exodus 32:1-4 The Children of Israel worship an idol.
And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we don’t know not what is become of him. And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

Exodus 32: 7-14 God is angry with Israel.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou brought out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.

And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever. And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.

Exodus 32:19,20 Moses destroys the idol.
And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strowed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.

COMPARING & CONTRASTING THE KORAN WITH SCRIPTURE


Both Scripture and the Koran record that the Children of Israel worshiped an idol fashioned to look like a calf, which was contrary to what they were supposed to do. The Koran, however, does not record that Moses interceded on behalf of the Children of Israel, as Scripture does. Moses uses the argument that if God strikes them all dead at once, then the surrounding nations would think that after freeing Israel from Egypt He was unable too bring them into the promised land. God listens to Moses and does not strike them all dead at once.

According to the Koran it was Allah and the angels, Gabriel and Michael, with whom Moses and Israel were dealing. In Scripture it was God alone, Who was speaking to Moses and the Children of Israel. Scripture and the Koran do not agree on the deity. In the Koran the angels, who are created beings, are lifted to the status of gods when the term “We” is used. It is used many times in the Koran.

In the Koran Mount Sinai is said to have risen above the Children of Israel when Allah and the angels spoke to Moses and the Children of Israel. According to scripture the mountain was already in a set location. The mountain did not rise up, but God came down upon the mountain in a blazing fire.

It was disobedience and faithlessness to God that prompted God’s desire to bring death to the camp of Israel. Had Israel obeyed, God would not have become angry and wanted to destroy Israel. God allowed them to live because He prefers life on earth over death. God was also fulfilling His promise to Abraham, that through him all the nations of the earth would be blessed. The Children of Israel were those through whom God was working to fulfill this promise. The Koran does not acknowledge this promise to Abraham.

CONCLUSION

Perhaps you, like the Children of Israel, have sinned against God through your disobedience to Him. God is still willing to accept you, imperfect as you are. It was through the Children of Israel that Jesus came to earth. You must believe that He is God in flesh: sinless. Lived a perfect life and took the sins of the world in His own body on the cross and received the wrath of God against those sins. If you desire eternal life, as I once did, then you can pray and invite Jesus into your heart right now. . For the promise is, “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. A sample prayer is,” Lord Jesus Christ, forgive me of my sins, and come into my heart.

REFERENCES

The Koran passages are a paraphrase of several English translations.
The Koran, translated by N.J. Dawood: A Penguin Classic
The Qur’an, translated by M.H. Shakir: Tahrike Tarsile Qur’an, Inc.
The Holy Qur’an, translated by Maulana Muhammad Ali: Ahmadiyya Anjumann Isha’at Lahore Inc. U.S.A.
The Koran, translated by Marmaduke Pickethall: Everyman’s Library
The Holy Bible is the King James translation of 1611 from THE WORD program by Tom Hills with the New Creations Ministries and paraphrased.

1 comment:

Matt said...

The Muslims don’t believe that Aaron could have instructed the Children of Israel to help him build an idol. They have a general principle that Allah would never choose somebody to be leader of his people or a prophet knowing that that person would commit such a grievous sin. This principle also informs them that David never committed adultery or murdered Uriah and that Jonah never griped after the people of Nineveh had repented and were saved.

They also don’t believe that Moses could have had the conversation about Israel’s annihilation. They think that this implies that God’s mind could be changed by men’s words. Similarly, they don’t believe in Abraham’s conversation with God about the destruction Sodom and Gomorrah or Jesus’ discussion with the Syrophonecian/Canaanite women in which he called her a dog, but later said he hadn’t seen faith as great as this anywhere in Israel.