It is so wonderful to be able to ask a bible scholar those questions that no one I know is able to answer. Thank you for the time you take to respond so thoroughly to everyone’s questions.
I have two questions. Why did God have the Israelites that worshiped the golden calf killed, but do nothing to Aaron who fashioned the calf? In fact, he later made him a priest.
The other question is, why was God so angry with Moses and Aaron over the water miracle in the desert, that they were not allowed to enter the promised land?
Aaron’s mistake was in bowing to the demands of the people. (Exodus 32:1) It was they who demanded that he make an idol for them. He was being weak, but they were committing blasphemy.
In Exodus 17:6 God had Moses strike a rock to make water gush forth. Later, in Numbers 20:8 he was told only to speak to the rock, but instead in anger he struck it again. This was a violation of God’s command but it also ruined a lesson God was trying to teach us.
In 1 Cor. 10:4 Paul said that the rock was a model of Christ. He was to die once for all time to produce rivers of living water, the Holy Spirit. (John 7:37-39) After that one time all we have to do is ask to receive the Holy Spirit.
By striking the rock twice, Moses violated the model that God was trying to create for us.