Question: Why would the Israelites turn away from God so quickly and easily?
Moses was temporarily unavailable, up on the mountain receiving God's Law. God was being slow.
When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, "Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him." ~Exodus 32:1
People are impatient and fickle. They were then and they are now. For example, a good web site designer knows the first law of the web, The Law of Stickiness: People are sticky, but they are not loyal. If they find a web site that serves their needs they stick with it, but the moment that site disappoints (by being slower than usual, or temporarily unavailable), they move to the competition.
The Law of Stickiness says God must improve his performance or we will make a golden calf. We will move to the competition. However, the Law of God says, "I am the LORD your God. You shall have no other gods before me."
"Know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other." ~Deuteronomy 4:39
What do you do when there is no competition to move to? The LORD alone is God. You wait. If God is slow, wait.
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
He makes all things beautiful in his time, not ours.
My Father in Heaven, how I trust in You. My confidence is in Your goodness and Your strength. My life is in Your care. I know that You offer life, life overflowing, abundant life.
May I always seek You first. May I always seek You only. Your kingdom with Your Son on the throne is my greatest hope. May I at all times maintain loyalty to You, keep faith in You, wait on You, trust in You. You are God.