When you hear the word idolatry most people think of a gold statue that someone bows down to and worships. This is what some people did in the Bible and still do today in some religions. That was not the full definition of idolatry. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary says idolatry is an immoderate attachment or devotion to something. When you are attached or devoted to something or someone more than God that is idolatry. God wants to be your 1st love.
God views idolatry the same as if you committed adultery. Ezekiel 23:37, They committed adultery with their idols.
God hates divorce but in Matthew 19:9 God allows it when one partner has committed adultery. The church is the bride of Christ and if you don’t want a divorce from Jesus you need to stay faithful. God said in Jeremiah 3:8, backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away and given her a bill of divorce.
If we want Jesus to bear the penalty for our sins then we need to make sure idolatry is not in our life. Ezekiel 23:49, you shall bear the penalty for your sinful idolatry.
Since idols in our life are considered adultery to God, we need to take a look at what the Bible says idolatry is.
Colossians 3:5, Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
Sleeping with lots of people will not fill that void in your life. If you want to feel unconditional love that lasts forever seek after God.
1 Corinthians 6:15-18, “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality.
Fire is good and beneficial if it is contained. You can use it for cooking, it can give you light when it is dark out and it can keep you warm. If the fire gets out of the designated space it can be destructive and deadly. Sex within marriage is wonderful and has many benefits, but outside of a marriage it can be destructive and sometimes deadly. Sexually transmitted diseases will not only cause physical pain but it will affect any future relationships you may have. Many children have been conceived due to sexual immorality. There has been an abundance of Children born to parents who were not committed to each other. This leads to blended families that make the child feel like an outcast. Those poor children have had such difficult lives. Worse yet, millions of abortions have come about because those behaviors. Moms who did not know what to do and who were not in a stable loving relationship killed the God given life growing inside of her. Ezekiel 16:20-21, Were your acts of harlotry a small matter, 21that you have slain My children. God does not take this lightly. Though the manor of sacrifice is different the action is the same. They offered and killed their infant usually conceived from sexual immorality to the god Molech in the hope of a better future. One sacrifice was to a false God hoping he would prosper them and the other is to the God of self, hoping they would prosper and do better without a child.
If you get pregnant and are struggling financially, God will take care of you if you trust in him. If you ever had an abortion and are willing to turn from your sins, God is willing to forgive you and will be reunited with your child in heaven.
Do you lust with your eyes and seek after pornography? Matthew 5:29, I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. God does not just want you to remain physically faithful he wants your heart to remain faithful. It’s devastating when someone you love gives their heart to another. Imagine how God feels when you have given your heart away.
Psalm 115:4 135:15, The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands.
So what is the work of your hands that could become an idol? The Hebrew word for work is Maaseh.. These are some of the words used in Strong’s definition, business, deed, act, labor, thing made, occupation, possession, and work.
You can love your occupation but don’t be more devoted to that than you are God. It also says silver and gold are idols, which would be money. Many have clung onto material possessions. When you are in God’s will he wants to bless you financially. There is a line between being blessed financially and becoming obsessed financially. Most of us can tell when possessions are a central theme in someone’s life. Matthew 6:24, No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Do you trust money for your security more than you trust God? Do you sing it’s praises by bragging about your vacations or your possessions? Are you serving it by working long hours to get more? Do you hold back tithing so you can keep more of it for yourself? Are you judging or envying others for what they have? Your idol may be money. 1 Timothy 6:10, For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. It’s not money that is evil but the love of money.
1 Samuel 15:23, Insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry.
The definition of insubordination is disobedient to authority. Luke 6:46, Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and not do what I tell you? Obedience is important for a number of reasons. Disobedience will turn people away from the Lord and we need to be a good example so more people will come to Jesus through us. John 14:15, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
The body of Christ needs to work together as a unit so we can get the will of God accomplished. Colossians 1:18 says Christ is the head of the body which is the church. If the head says to the body go over there and if the feet are going in the wrong or opposite directions, nothing will be accomplished. Luke 11:23, Whoever, is not with me is against me.
Let’s look at idolatry from the view of commandment # 1 # 2
Commandment Number One
Exodus 20:3 - Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
1Chronicles 16:26, For all the gods of the people are idols: What would another god look like? There are many religions out there that serve another god even within the professing Christian community. The god they serve has nothing to do with the God of the bible.
People can create their own god
People try to create their own god. Jehovah Witnesses have eliminated the divine essence of Jesus. They do not believe Jesus is God in the flesh. They have created a false god and have been lead into deception. They have other wrong teachings in addition to this. The Jehovah Witnesses have placed their trust in the elders of the church and the writings of the Watchtower society have taken the place of God’s word. Colossians 2:8-9, See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. 9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.
People can make themselves god
People try to make themselves god. We see this throughout our lives where selfishness in a person rules. It’s all about what others can do for them and they are not willing to go out of their way to help anyone else. Those that are rich and famous often fall into the trap of making themselves like God. This is because people wait on them and do their bidding, or if they are famous people will idolize them. It’s hard for them to humble themselves in front of God, admit they’re a sinner in need of a savior and then to serve God over being served by others. Matthew 19:23, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.
People like to think highly of themselves and that can turn into sin. This was the Devil’s downfall in Isaiah 14:13-14 He wanted to become like God. This was also the temptation he used on Eve in the Garden when he told her she will become like God if she ate the fruit in Genesis 3:5. He is still using this temptation today. The Mormons believe that God was once a man and as he progressed he became exalted as a God head. They believe all people are divine in nature and can eventually be exalted to a God. Their leader Joseph Smith wrote their holy books from revelations he received from a fallen angel who gave him a gospel contrary to the Bible. Galatians 1:6-8, warns about fallen angels preaching a different gospel.
Isaiah 42:8, "I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols. This includes you.
Commandment Number Two
Let’s look at commandment #2 Exodus 20:4, “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.”
Here is the definition of worship.
- Reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power.
- An act of expressing such reverence.
- To regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion.
People in the Christian community, all over the world have been caught up in worshiping a fallen person who herself stated she needed a savior in Luke 1:46-47. The golden calf has been replaced with a statue of Mary. Deuteronomy 4:16, Beware lest you act corruptly by making a carved image for yourselves, in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female. People have made statues in her image in direct disobedience to commandment #2 and they will bow to and kneel in-front of her statue at weddings and other occasions. Most will say they don’t worship Mary when asked but, they are doing exactly what the definition of worship says. Mary was definitely blessed but some churches have made her like God saying she is sinless and a co-redeemer with Christ, which is contrary to the word of God. Romans 1:25, Because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator. People have also made Mary and the saints Omnipresent like God. There are people praying to Mary the mother of Jesus all over the world. The saints, Mary or any person who has died are not Omnipresent like God is and they cannot hear your prayers. You are only to pray to the Lord your God! You are playing with fire because God calls this spiritual prostitution. Leviticus 20:6, “I will also turn against those who commit spiritual prostitution by putting their trust in mediums or in those who consult the spirits of the dead. I will cut them off from the community. God killed King Saul and his sons because he did not turn to God for guidance but sought guidance from the dead spirit of Samuel. See (1 Chronicles 10:13 1 Samuel 28). Isaiah 8:19, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?
Even if the saints could hear you, do you think God is happy with his child going to someone else to request something of him? I would be upset if one of my kids had a need but went through someone else to petition me for something because they thought this other person has more favor in my eyes. They do not truly know my love for them and my heart would break. I love my children and my desire is to have a personal relationship with each of them directly.
So to paraphrase an idol can be sex, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed, money, the work of your hands, your job, disobedience, consulting the dead, devotion or reverence to someone or something more than God.
Ezekiel 14: 4-5, says people take idols into their hearts, we can have a multitude of idols, and they will estrange us from God.
Jonah 2:8, "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs." The grace of God is what saves you. It is by grace through faith! You will lose that grace when you won’t let go of those idols. Empty your heart of those worthless idols and let God fill it with his love and his desires. If you’re willing to repent, God is willing to forgive.
Ezekiel 36:25, I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.
Let us Love, Trust, Worship and Serve the one who gave up his life so we could live with him. Put everything down and run into the arms of your Savior. Hebrews 12:1 let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
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