Summary: Do we really need to address idolatry in these modern times? Where do you turn in times of crisis? What is of most importance in times of celebration or reward?
Dakota Community Church
July 13, 2014
Make No Idols
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them…
…for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Introduction: Dealing with Modern Spiritual Snobbery
Artemus, Asherah, Baal, Chemosh, Dagon, Hadad, Marduk, Milcom, Molech, Mammon, the Queen of Heaven, and Tammuz are just a few of the idols mentioned in the Bible.
But those days are ancient history right, that kind of thing no longer exists except maybe in distant villages or in backward third world countries.
“What profit is an idol when its maker has shaped it, a metal image, a teacher of lies? For its maker trusts in his own creation when he makes speechless idols! 19 Woe to him who says to a wooden thing, Awake; to a silent stone, Arise! Can this teach? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in it.
20 But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.”
I mean come on Pastor Dan, we have evolved beyond this old timey Bible type teaching, right?
There were gods worshiped to obtain sexual power and fertility.
There were gods worshiped to gain abundant harvest and fresh water.
There were gods worshiped for the promise of health and prosperity.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
“Very few are to be found who are of good cheer, and who neither mourn nor complain if they have not Mammon. This care and desire for money sticks and clings to our nature, even to the grave.” Martin Luther [The Large Catechism]
It isn’t that I can’t have sex or family, food or drink, or even health or prosperity; I just can’t give myself to those things.
Two aspects of this command I want to focus on this morning:
Am I worshiping the right God? Am I worshiping the right way?
1. Am I worshiping the right God?
You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything…
Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, 2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.” 3 He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God commanded, ‘Honour your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 5 But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have gained from me is given to God,” 6 he need not honour his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. 7 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: “‘This people honours me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”
A. Who/What is my functional gods?
What/Who do I turn to in times of crisis?
How do I reward myself in times of accomplishment or celebration?
Anything you idolize you will eventually demonize.
What do you really live for? What would you not want to live without?
"Remember this - if you don't live for Jesus, you will live for something else. If you live for your career and don't do well it may punish you all of your life, and you will feel like a failure. If you live for your children and they don't turn out all right, you could be absolutely in torment because you feel worthless as a person. If Jesus is your centre and Lord and you fail him, he will forgive you. Your career can't die for your sins. Jesus is the one Lord you can live for who died for you - one who breathed his last for you.” Tim Keller