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Idolatry


 

Idolatry is most associated with pagan religions. People who make and worship fake gods out of wood, stone, silver, and gold. That is all they are, material things, they can’t speak or help you in any way. This isn’t widely practiced in the world today. But how many people have possessions, or material things that they put first in their heart, before God and even themselves. Whatever is first in your heart is your god. For some people its Television, food, games, money, drugs, cars, sports. These aren’t all bad on their own, but when you become obsessed, you begin to live your life for them. They become your master and have control over you. God wants you to put him first in your heart, even before yourself. Jesus Christ said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”

 


Psalm 135:15-18

15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. 16 They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; 17 they have ears, but cannot hear, nor is there breath in their mouths. 18 Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.

(This fits in with Isaiah 6:9-10, when God says “Go and tell this people: be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving. Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes.” Many people are like this; so caught up in the world, and themselves, that they can‘t believe in God because it is as if they are deaf and blind to what God shows them and tells them. Before they hear him they tune him out as if it is their own conscience, and when they see a miracle they say that it is a mere coincidence.)


 

Isaiah 46:5-9

5 “To whom will you compare me or count me equal? 6 Some pour out gold from their bags and weigh out silver on the scales; they hire a goldsmith to make it into a god and they bow down and worship it. 7 They lift it to their shoulders and carry it; they set it up in its place, and there it stands. From that spot it cannot move. Though one cries out to it, it does not answer; it cannot save him from his troubles. 8 “Remember this, fix it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. 9 Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and their is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.”

(There is only one God and only He will answer you. Many people cry out in prayer seeking his hand, trying to get what they want. And if they don’t get what they want they excuse God in their life and say He doesn’t exist because He didn’t answer their prayer. Instead you are to seek his face first. In the Gospel of Matthew, when Jesus gives the sermon on the mount, Jesus says, “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”)

 


Acts 17:29-30

29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone image made by man’s design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.

(Imagine creating humans out of love, and then making yourself evident in their lives as their creator. Then imagine that they refuse to recognize you as their creator and begin to worship stone, gold, and silver images as their God and no thanks is given to you for their provisions, safety, or health. Its a slap in the face.)

 


Romans 1:21-25

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator-who is forever praised. Amen.

 (God can’t force you to love him or to obey him. So when you harden your heart and turn away from him, sometimes He hands you over to your desires. This means learning a lesson the hard way, and sometimes you have to hit rock bottom. But he is always there to pick you up and heal you if you humbly return to him and repent of your ways.)

 


1 Corinthians 10:14

12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 14 Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.

(It is when we think we are strongest when we let our guard down. When things are going good we tend to loosen our belts and lack a little in faith and self control. This is when Satan comes at us and gets a foothold on us. Be careful even when things are going well in your life, be on guard, be faithful in prayer, and focus on God’s will, and keep him first in your heart.)