“You shall have no other gods before Me. 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. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, Am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments.”
– Exodus 20:3-6
According to Merriam Webster, idolatry is the worship of a physical object as a god, or immoderate attachment or devotion to something. As Christians, idolatry is something a little different. Idolatry is when we put anything before our relationship with God. In Exodus 20:1-6 we can see the first two commandments. Both of the commandments involve putting God first. God says, “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.”
Jealous means intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness. Basically God is saying that He comes first, no ifs ands or buts. The Israelites were not only creating physical idols, but they were setting up idols in their hearts. Read Isaiah 44:6-23 to see what the Israelites chose to worship over God.
Now you may say, I don’t worship those actual idols, but we do have other gods. What “gods” have people in our culture shaped for themselves? Celebrities, money, friends, school, sports, church, family, religion, etc. Why do you think that people might be attracted to these idols? They let them live their lives, and it doesn’t require anything of them.
When we engage in idolatry, we are committing adultery in our relationship with God. During Biblical times, adultery was one greatest sins you could commit. You might say, “Well I am most definitely not an adulterer; I’m not cheating on God.” Here is an illustration for you. We are the water bottle, and the food coloring is the times we choose something over God. We decide we’re going to a football game and not church, one drop. Even after one drop we are no longer clear, that decision bleeds into our entire lives. Then we say, “Well I have to study, so I’ll read my Bible later.” That’s another drop. Eventually we are so far from where we started that we become un-recognizable.
There is a plus side, we can go back. Jesus has taken the burden for us and we now we have grace because of it. If we apply Matthew 6:33 and Luke 10:27, we can overcome idolatry. We can also ask our helper, the Holy Spirit, to help us rid ourselves of the idols in our lives.
Love and Nuggs,