19 It came about, as soon as Moses came near the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing; and Moses’ anger burned, and he threw the tablets from his hands and shattered them at the foot of the mountain. 20 He took the calf which they had made and burned it with fire, and ground it to powder, and scattered it over the surface of the water and made the sons of Israel drink it.
21 Then Moses said to Aaron, “What did this people do to you, that you have brought such great sin upon them?” 22 Aaron said, “Do not let the anger of my lord burn; you know the people yourself, that they are prone to evil. 23 “For they said to me, `Make a god for us who will go before us; for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ 24 “I said to them, `Whoever has any gold, let them tear it off.’ So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.”
Even though the people were ‘prone to evil’ as Aaron says, the one who bears the greatest blame here is Aaron. Moses had left his brother in charge, and I think he might have struck Aaron dead had he not been family. Aaron not only gave in to the people without a single word, but he then has the audacity to say that he just threw the gold into the fire, and a calf came out, as if God himself had formed it for them. The lie was obvious, and I’m sure Moses saw right through it also. We all are human, and we all screw up. When you do, don’t try to cover it up, and certainly don’t try to blame it on God. Honesty is always the best policy, and you won’t look like an idiot for trying to lie if you just tell the truth.