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William Barclay makes this important observation about ancient idolatry: "The essence of idolatry is the desire to get. A man sets up an idol and worships it because he desires to get something out of god. To put it bluntly, he believes that by his sacrifices and his gifts and his worship, he can persuade, or even bribe, God into giving him what he desires."

(Barclay, The Letter to the Colossians, p. 182.)

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