It is very easy to imagine God as all the things we like and consider proper. But as Lewis pointed out so starkly, He is not a tame lion. And so it is, that God asks us do things that destroy our preconceptions and leaves us no alternative except to start from scratch in getting to know him, and to discard all the assumptions we didn’t even realize we had. I expect that the Golden Calf was made with the best of intents but the ways that God reveals himself are not ways clean, simple, easy, or kind. We really must learn from Him, who He is, or we can not learn. No, none of us.
Read the article linked. I can not properly do it justice.