Moshe comes down from the mountain after the Israelites had made the Golden Calf and VAYAR ET HA’EGEL UMECHOLOT, “…he saw the calf and the dances…”. (Ex. 32,19) Then, the Torah states, his anger flared up and he shattered the Tablets of Stone. Why was he surprised when he saw the calf? Hashem had told him that they made it. Why did he bring the Tablets down or why didn’t he shatter them before?
The Seforno answers this question. He says that when Moshe was told that they had made the calf he thought he would come down to them and show them their mistake and they would do Teshuva. When he saw that they were dancing and made merry with such joy, he realized that he will not be able to readily pull them away from the calf. He came to the conclusion that they were not ready for the tablets of the Ten Commandments.
We often make mistakes. If, however, we do not realize our errors and continue to justify what we did then it is much harder for us to correct our ways. We must be ready to face up and recognize our wrong doing. Only then will we be able to correct our faults.