First what is an idol? Anything begins to be an idol when the person or object begins to take the number one place in our lives that belongs only to God. God said: “4 You shall not make for yourself an idol,…5 You shall not worship them or serve them;” A Idol worship has taken many forms throughout history. People have worshiped trees, rivers, hills, celestial bodies, images of wood, stone and precious metals, the desire to control others, power, influence, houses, cars, sports, etc.
Idolatry subtly creeps into disciples lives because of our three enemies Satan, the world system and self. The apostle Paul admonished disciples to “Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.” B “Immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed” may all be defined as when disciples live as if everything exists for our benefit. This is an attempt to put ourselves in the place of Jesus– the Son of God– instead of acknowledging “all things have been created through Him and for Him… and in Him all things hold together“. C The Bible often warns against allowing things and people to take the place that only He deserves.
Idol worship of any form is sin and rebellion against God. I remember going to youth camp about 1984 and teaching the young men about the rebellion of Saul. God told Samuel to tell Saul “Rebelling against God or disobeying him because you are proud is just as bad as worshiping idols or asking them for advice. You refused to do what God told you, so God has decided that you can’t be king.” D God allowed Saul to live almost 30 more years as king, but they were difficult years because “the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord terrorized him.” E We can be thankful today that after the ascension of Jesus and Pentecost F the Holy Spirit does not depart from disciples G, but there can still be discipline by God H for rebellion and idol worship by His children.
Self-examination: What is one thing that would devastate you if you lost it? What is one thing that you think would bring you contentment if you gained it?
Henry Luke 10/23/2017
For other posts on Exodus 32-34, click on “Exodus 32-34” in tags below.