In my tired fog yesterday I went winding my way around Work and Play straight to children which is what I think about most often since I am so covered with them. But of course, when we are told "and they rose up to play" the intimation is that they rose up to do lewd and inappropriate things with one another all around the golden calf. It's not the playing of children that we're seeing, but the 'playing' of full grown idolatrous adults and it shouldn't, in this day and age be hard for you to imagine what I'm saying without me having to lay it all out.
But the distinction I made yesterday is still helpful, I think, and so is the garden. Adam and Eve were given to each other for knowledge, intimate knowledge, companionship, mutual help and comfort, and that was not so much about recreation as about work. The person who plays around with a lot of other people is worshiping himself. Whereas the person who sets about to know another is doing work, self denying and sometimes hard, though hopefully very rewarding work.
The kind of idolatrous adulterous play manifesting itself around the golden calf leads necessarily to the opposite of things like mutual help and comfort. At the end of such a play you have ruination, hurt, and in the case of this tragic anniversary of Roe v. Wade, murder. God's mercy in that moment was extraordinary, that only 3000 perished and not the whole camp of Israel. We have endured a similar mercy as a country, as God has forborne our lewd play, our murder. I pray he has more in his hand and will rescue some from the fire of his wrath.