Summary: A Christ centered, hopeful look at addiction

The Counterfeit Christ of Alcohol & Drugs

Idols of the Heart

By Brandon Nealy

Bible Text: Proverbs 23:19-35

Preached on: Sunday, May 15, 2011

Northside Baptist Church

800 Jefferson Blvd

Lafayette, LA 70501


Online Sermons:

Well, you know the old story: the Israelites had been in bondage for 400 years, in

bondage to Pharaoh, in bondage to Egypt, in bondage to the idols and to the gods of

Egypt but then Pharaoh caused them to make bricks without hay, bricks without straw

and they cried out to the Lord in bondage. Their oppression and their slavery became

almost too much to bear and so they cried out to God and really, there’s only one way out

of slavery and that’s to be delivered. So, God gave them a deliverer, Moses. And Moses

was to carry them out of the Egypt and bring them into the Promised Land but before

they would enter into the Promised Land, there was a season of trial, a season of testing, a

season of wilderness. And like all people, they wanted the Promised Land to come a little

bit sooner than God intended. They desired the leeks and the vegetables and the

delicacies of Egypt and God was taking his sweet and precious time as far as they were


So, tensions built to a head in this story as Moses, the deliverer, is up at the top of Mount

Sinai. What is God going to do? Are we going to be brought into the Promised Land?

Can he deliver all of those things that we desire? He was taking his time and the people

grew restless and impatient. So, what did they do? They turned to an idol. They turned to

one of those gods that had previously enslaved them. They had been freed from it, but

here they are again turning back to it. Turning back to an idol. Turning, really, to a new

deliverer. Perhaps this golden cow, perhaps this god that they knew in Egypt, could bring

them into the Promised Land. Perhaps he could deliver the meat and the vegetables and

the delicacies that they so desired.

Well, you kind of know what happens in the rest of the story, but this gives us a little

window into idolatry. This is something that the children of Israel would do forever. They

would trust other empires; they would trust their political treaties; they would trust

Chemosh and Molech and Baal for fertility and for rains and for harvest. They would

have a history of turning to idols to save them when God was the one who would save


So we have a story here, we have a window into idolatry and the idol in the story is – I’m

going to give you a simple definition – throughout the summer I’m going to be showing

you different angles on idolatry, but an idol is – I want to bring some New Testament into

Page 1 of 11it – an idol is a counterfeit Christ. An idol is a counterfeit Christ. It’s a substitute God; a

substitute deliverer; an alternate deliverer. But let me put New Testament wording on it:

it is an antichrist; it is a counterfeit Christ. You see, Christ is our refuge. Amen? Christ is

our hiding place. Christ is our shelter in a time of storm and when we walk to the valley

of the shadow of death, he is our shepherd. Yet, we often turn to other hiding places, do

we not? We often turn to other refuges; we often turn to other shelters in a time of storm.

He is our Prince of Peace and we turn to other things. We turn, in fact, to the creation.

We exchanged the truth for a lie and worship the creation rather than the Creator thinking

that it can save us rather than the God who promises to save us. Do you understand that?

An idol is a counterfeit Christ.

Now, if an idol is a counterfeit Christ, idolatry is using that counterfeit Christ to bring

about heaven, really, a Christ-less heaven. You see, it’s the Promised Land without

Moses and without God. It’s heaven without the true Christ and sometimes we turn to our

counterfeit christs in this world to bring us the heaven that we desire. There is a very

religious element to it. You say, “But Pastor, I thought that idolatry was bowing down to

metal images, to metal idols.” Yes, of course it is. If anyone here is bowing to a metal

idol, that is idolatry, no doubt. But, really, even in the Old Testament, the metal idol was

a means to an end. Do you understand that the Israelites didn’t love cows; they didn’t

have some affinity with cattle. They were looking to the golden cow to bring about the

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion