Summary: people often give the glory that belongs to God to the gods
NO ROOM FOR OTHER GODS
“Thou shalt have no other goods before me.”Exo.20:3.
This is the first commandment that God gave to Moses to be passed on to his people. This implies that God hates idolatry – the belief and worship of other goods. In Africa and the Greek world, there are so many gods believed to be playing special role in men’s affairs. Sango is believed to be the god of thunder invoked for vengeance. As it is in Africa and the Greek world, so it was, and is in every other country of the world. There is no part of the world that has not once practiced idolatry.
God hates idolatry because there are no other gods that are worthy to be worshiped, but Him. The Bible says that in the beginning God made the heavens and the earth. He fixed everything in its position. It was by his command that the earth was made. He formed the rocks that man uses for building and road construction and made rivers and oceans as food store and means of transportation. He is the same God who created the forest, animals and insects and he created man in His own image and gave him tremendous power to govern everything He created.
God’s intention was that everything that He created should be subject to man and not the other way round. Surprisingly, man belittled himself, moved by the sheer size and awesomeness of the sea, the trees, the animals and the skies, substituted the creations for the Creator. God is therefore not happy with man, not only because he refuses to give honour unto whom honour is due but also for demoting himself by allowing things created for his enjoyment to be gods over him.
These gods that man worship have no life in them. They remain ordinary objects except for the demons that inhabit them, giving the false impression to worshipers as to the true nature of the gods. Satan and his hosts are enemies of God and God will not allow the works of His hands to be used to rob Him of His due honour.
This is what the bible says about the gods:
“They have mouths but they speak not, eyes have they, but they see not. They have ears but they hear not, noses have they but they smell not. They have hands but handle not, feet have they, but they walk not, neither speak they through their throats”. Ps. 115: 4-7
These gods are very easy to create. You can even create one now on your table by kneeling before it and calling it your maker. Demons are always around to support such venture since they know that you are disobeying God.
God made man to praise and give glory, honour and adoration to His holy Name. He wants to be worshipped. The gods also want to be worshipped. One must give way for the other. Jesus said that it is impossible to serve two masters. Joshua also told the children of Israel to choose between God and devil. It is a terrible sin to have other gods before the invisible and the living God.
But you may say that idol worshippers also recognize the sovereignty of God and believe Him to be the creator of heaven and earth. No, they don’t. In the Greek and African society, there are several gods associated with sinecure roles in the cosmic affairs. There are gods of harvest, rain, peace, children, beauty, nemesis etc. Whenever there is increase in farm produce, glory is not given to God but to the gods of harvest. Anytime God pours rain on earth, idol worshipper wrongly ascribe this to the handiwork of the gods of rain. This amounts to sharing God’s glory with another and He will not condone such ‘daylight robbery’. Our God is a jealous God.
However, there are other gods not made of gold, silver, clay or wood but are made in the human mind. Whatever a man loves and pays more attention to more than God is an idol to him, whether he knows it or not. If fewer men are guilty of the first form of idolatry, many are guilty of the second-the idolatry of the mind.
As we traverse this transient world, there are so many things (physical and spiritual) trying very hard to win our love and attention. Some of these things are recreational activities in all its ramifications, ambitions (ordinate and inordinate), power of the physical and spiritual, self preservation, family attachment, the devil and, of course goods.
Recreation is good especially when it is not sinful, because it provides opportunity for body exercise and casting off our minds from our day to day activities. It can however metamorphose into small goods when it is given priority at God’s expense. For example, forgoing Sunday service in order to cheer your team to victory could mean that greater priority is given to sports than God.