Has there ever been a time when you felt like you are all on your own? Somehow, something happened, an you got left holding the bag? Then you start kicking yourself. Why did I ever trust that person? Or why did I ever agree to this project, or this situation?
Remember where the Israelites had come from? They had been an enslaved people group for hundreds of years. There were only months between when they had escaped Egypt, and arrived here at the base on Mount Horeb. Even though God had been revealed as far more powerful than all the gods of Egypt, including Pharaoh, though God had provided sweet water and manna, though God had safely brought the people out of Egypt, and provided them with great treasure . . . they were still a badly battered people, used to abuse, used to being used.
Trust was not going to be their go-to.
So, while God was giving Moses all the law, and the instructions for the tabernacle, a beautiful meeting place between heaven and earth, the people were losing hope and losing trust.
I The Golden Calf, Exodus 32:1-6
II Crime and Punishment, Exodus 32:7-29
III Continuing Consequences, Exodus 32:30-35