Dr. Ralph D. West: Getting to the Bottom of It!

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Baptists Preaching is a column from the Baptist Standard. It is not an effort to advance any one theology or style but to present what a collection of Baptists considers a word from God. Likewise, Baptists Preaching offers a repository of Baptist preaching for future study and research. To recommend a sermon to be featured in Baptists Preaching, please contact eric.black@baptiststandard.com.

Dr. Ralph D. West: Getting to the Bottom of It! (Exodus 32)

Dr. Ralph D. West, the founder and senior pastor of The Church Without Walls in Houston, Texas, recounts the story of Aaron creating a golden calf at the Israelite’s request. Moses had been on the mountain with God for what the people thought was too long. The people at the bottom of the mountain raced “to the spiritual bottom,” while God still was “working his purposes at the top of the mountain.” 

Referring to current events, West acknowledged there always is chaos at the bottom of the mountain, where people fashion their own gods. Even so, God has the last word at the top of the mountain. West also likened those blaming Black Lives Matter and Antifa for the current unrest to Aaron passing blame to the ovens and the gold for the creation of an idol.



God wanted to wipe out Israel, but Moses intervened, seeking God’s mercy. God relented. West reminds his hearers God did not give up on Israel at that mountain. In fact, at another mountain, God’s promise of redemption was kept in Jesus’ death on Calvary. West calls all Christians “back to the cross” of Calvary.

This sermon was delivered on Jan. 10, 2021, for the morning worship services of The Church Without Walls in Houston, in response to the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

A script for this sermon is available here.




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