Summary: A series of messages based on the 10 Commandments
The “Truth about Truth” #3
* When you hear the word “Idol”, who or what do you think about? Most of us think about Stars, Singers, or Sports figures. Or may people we desire to be “LIKE.” In days past some of our idols and/or heroes were fictional characters like Superman, Batman, Spiderman, or the like.
* Because we have been a culture founded on the worship of God, the worship of images has not been a common practice. Yet, in more subtle ways, we seem to be placing more and more emphasis on the things of this world. As we do, the more our lives take on a form of worship of the things of this world. Fundamentally, it is very dangerous.
* Our series of messages center on the central truths upon which all the world is founded, The Ten Commandments. Turn to Exodus 20 and let’s read verse 4-6, the 2nd command.
* Let divide our discussion into four parts:
1) The Principle - I remind you that over half of the commandment are given in the negative, “do not.”
a) Don’t build
i) Without getting into linguistics, the Hebrew word here is to fashion, hew, construct, or make. This was obviously important for the Children of Israel. Remember that for 400 years they have been under the Egyptian influence of polytheism. Some of the COI seemed to be more comfortable with a “made” god they could touch and see than Jehovah God.
ii) We see this in chapter 32, when Moses and God don’t work on their schedule so they build a calf.
iii) God knew and knows our weaknesses.
b) Don’t bow -
i) What does it mean to bow? The 1st command said, “no other gods before me.” And now, don’t bow? What exactly does this mean? Anytime we put anything before God in our lives, it is bowing.
Idols – Pg 2
ii) Today, I can drive you to a home where, for a number of years, Reba was their God. They literally abandoned God, His worship, His house, and His family for her concerts.
(1) It is interesting to me that the KJV uses the words “Bow & Serve” to indicate worship. You see, worship is an action word like in Genesis where it says to “till the ground.” In the New Testament, you shall worship (serve) God on that mountain, it is an action word. It is a life-changing action.
iii) Before we can fall in line with this command, we have to determine what exactly “IS” our God. Today in the American church, there is a GREAT IDOL in view. It is SELF & SELF WORSHIP. (this is another message)
2) The Practical – God gives us a definition of exactly "what" would constitute an IDOL? Some of these possess real fire power for today’s culture.
a) Anything in the Heavens –
i) It takes little imagination to understand that God is speaking of “Astrology” or the worship of Sun, Moon, and Stars. We can expand our understanding to the worship of Angels, Demons, and other imaginary gods. To offer one more thought; this also means any statues of God. Remember God is “spirit” that is His essence & no man-made creation can do Him justice.
b) Anything on Earth
i) Now He speaks about Statues of People. This gets offensive to some, but I read this to mean statues of Mary, Jesus, Crosses, Crucifix, and any of the rest. Now it violates this command when we worship these, not have a cross around your neck.
ii) Also included would be statues of animals. This is a direct affront to the Egyptian mythology which the COI had been so exposed to and infected with over the 400 years of captivity.
Idols – Pg 3
c) Anything in Water (under)
i) This speaks of the worship of fish, crocodiles and “so-called” sea monster. Does this sound foolish?
d) In practice, it is a sin to worship ANYTHING other than God Himself. To build, bow, or redirect our worship.
3) The Punishment
a) Reason for the Punishment –
i) God is a jealous God. To make this simple, the picture from the word “jealous” is red faced. God designed us for Himself, has given all He had for us.
(1) How would you feel if YOUR spouse was unfaithful? Would you become RED FACED?
(2) Bible calls worship of others Gods spiritual adultery. This jealousy is a good word and RED faced anger is a good description.
b) Reality of the Punishment – Those who “hate” Him will be punished. Keep your perspective. Few people will own up to “hating God.” The atheist says he doesn’t believe there is a God. Adrian Rogers says, the atheist doesn’t want to believe there is a God, because if there is a God, then I have to answer to Him. To not believe in Him is equivalent to hate.