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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Idolatry Today?

Photo by: thephotoholic

Idolatry can be defined as: anything that comes between God and us.

Lets read the first two of the Ten Commandments:
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments (Exodus 20:3-6).

Images—The prohibition of images, those used for worship, is a serious one. Even today, many religions use images in their worship traditions: animals, made-up creatures, and people (real and imagined). One has only to think a little bit and quite a few religious images come to mind. If a person actually venerates or prays to any kind of image, he breaks the Second Commandment. He also breaks the First Commandment, because the image takes the place of God.

Read these Bible passages about images:
  • Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them (Psalm 115:4-8; also Psalm 135:15-18).
  • Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto. He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire: And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god. They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand. And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree? (Isaiah 44:15-19)
  • What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? (Habakkuk 2:18)
  • And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk (Revelation 9:20).

God calls all worship involving images “abomination, something He hates. 
  • The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God (Deuteronomy 7:25).
  • Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen (Deuteronomy 27:15).

Any religion that encourages its followers to give reverence to, pray to, or bow to an image is doing something that God clearly hates. It is idolatry.

“Oh,” you might say, “I have never had any idol or image of a saint or anything like that in my home! I would never put anything man-made before God.”

Good. But let’s look back at the definition of idolatry. It’s anything that comes between God and us.

Idolatry could be a thing:

  • Money
  • House
  • Car
  • Clothing
  • Computer
  • Food
  • Drink
  • Drugs
  • Smart phone
  • Gadget
  • Jewelry

Idolatry could be time spent on:

  • Leisure
  • Work
  • Computer—social media, chatting, etc.
  • Hobbies
  • Fitness
  • Gardening
  • Shopping
  • Social life, partying
  • Studying
  • Reading
  • Pleasures
  • Movies, Music Videos
  • Video Gaming

Idolatry could be what we think about more than about God:

  • Person we love
  • Work
  • Problems

Idolatry could be what’s important to us:

  • People
  • Relationships
  • Status
  • Fame

Most of these things are okay in their rightful place, but when we value them more than God, they become idolatry.

Is there idolatry today? Unfortunately, yes.

Do we have idolatry in our lives? Probably every Christian has moments when something else takes the place of God. It’s wrong, and when we realize it, we need to confess it, forsake it, and get things into the right perspective again. (1 John 1:8-9)

May God help us to put Him first and not anything else.

After all, God is the greatest! For all the gods of the people are idols: but the LORD made the heavens (1 Chronicles 16:26). There’s a huge difference. God is the Creator-Originator of everything! He cannot be limited. Nothing is as great as He.

Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them,
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel
that setteth up his idols in his heart,
and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face,
and cometh to the prophet;
I the LORD will answer him that cometh
according to the multitude of his idols;
That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart,
because they are all estranged from me through their idols.
Therefore say unto the house of Israel,
Thus saith the Lord GOD;
Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols;
and turn away your faces from all your abominations.
 (Ezekiel 14:4-6)


Search me, O God, and know my heart:
try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
(Psalm 139:23-24)


  1. It's sad and scary that we can so easily let our focus slip, but we do need to be vigilant.

    1. So true. It's easy to let something else creep into first place and first focus. Thank you, Barbara, for your comment. God bless!


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