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As we continue this series let’s take a look at the 2nd Commandment,
“You shall not make any idols.”
You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands. Ex 20: 4-6
It is interesting to find out that the Catholic church has left this commandment out of their list of the 10 Commandments. They have kept the list to 10 by dividing the 10th Commandment into two. This is totally contrary to the Word of God. Ancient transcripts, including the Jewish Pentateuch or Torah, all keep the 2nd Commandment dealing with idolatry.
Having other gods and not making idols are two different commands. The first command deals with which God we worship. There is only one and we worship Him only. The 2nd deals with worshipping the right God in the right way.
Us Christians in America have a lot of Idols that get in the way of our walk with God. Let us define what an idol is,
An image or representation of a god used as an object of worship. a person or thing that is greatly admired, loved, or revered. Something we value more than God or our walk with God.
Archaeologists have found that every culture in history have had idols that they fashioned. There is something in people that is bent towards idolatry. In the Old Testament we find there were three prominent idols that were worshipped. Baal was the god of sex. Then there was Mammon, the god of money. And finally there was Molech the god of violence. Do these sound familiar? Sex, money, and violence are the central themes to most of American entertainment. In history people made images out of stone, wood, or metal. Today our images are mental0+ `1.
There are three reasons why we should not worship idols.
- Idols will Disappoint. They always promise more than they deliver. Celebrities, sports figures, politicians are followed on social media. We look up to them and even pattern areas of after lives after their examples. The problem with this is once a scandal pops up we feel let down. Even a pastor can be made into an idol. Then that once time he doesn’t shake your hand or does something wrong you are disappointed. Remember God never disappoints.
2) Idols Dominate. People just by nature like to follow the crowd. Addictions can
are idols. They consume you and ruin your life. You can’t just give them up
because they dominate you.
3) Idols Deform. You become like the very thing you value.
And those who make idols are just like them, as are all who trust in them. Psalm
You become like the thing you idolize so idolize Jesus. Whatever you put first
forms you so put Jesus first.
You can’t worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you’ll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can’t worship God and Money both. Matt 6:24 The Message
How do you know in your life there is an idol? You end up hating the other. You get angry when anyone tries to help you get back on track. If God tries to help you let go of something and you refuse it’s because you don’t own it, it owns you. And yes this does pertain to money.
God says for your own good let nothing have 1st place in your life. In Indonesia if a muslim gets saved and baptized he or she is disowned by their families. They literally have to make a choice to lose their family in order to accept Jesus.
When I was studying this I was blown away by how subtle idolatry can be. We are so easily distracted. Do you realize on your iPhone you can see how much data go towards certain apps. How much time do you spend looking at your phone? Can you go a day without checking it? We are looking at images and some of us can’t imagine not checking our phones for an hour much less an entire day.
And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles. Rom 1:23
The Bible says they traded the truth for a lie. Why? Because others are doing it. Do we try to make images of God that we put on a wall or a shelf? Do we try to limit the location of an omnipresent God? If we could put Him on a shelf or on a wall we could just walk away from Him.
We actually try to reduce His power and size. The children of Israel made a golden calf. They wanted a god that would do what they wanted.
God’s ways are higher and if we ignore Him we are foolish. We want our Christianity in doses. We want just enough to be blessed and to go to Heaven. But we really don’t want God to be Lord.
However there are benefits in worshipping God only.
He Delights. He doesn’t disappoint. Take delight in the Lord and he will give you your heart’s desires. Ps 37:4
He Delivers. He doesn’t dominate. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32
He Develops. He doesn’t deform. Whatever you love you will become like.
Fall in love with and worship Jesus Christ and you will be like Him. Don’t be afraid. Surrender your life to Him. Don’t let your excuses keep you from all God has called you to be.
Father I repent of the idols in my life. I ask you to forgive me for everything that distracts me from you. I repent of everything I want more than you. I choose you Lord above all else. Amen.