How does one define idolatry or the worship of idols in these modern times? The Jews, during the times of the prophets and judges, were often guilty of falling down to worship the gods of the people they had displaced from the land of Israel. They would make idols out of wood, stone or precious metals and prefer them over the worship of God, who had delivered them from Egyptian bondage and given them the land they inhabited. While this type of idol worship is not prevalent in the world today, at least not in our society, we may be just as guilty as they were in ancient times of putting other gods before God.
Paul saw fit to deal with idolatry in the New Testament which he called worshiping the”creature rather than the Creator.” How do we do this today? Deuteronomy 4:24 says: “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” It would follow then that anything in our lives that we put ahead of our devotion and service to God would provoke Him to jealousy and constitutes idolatry.
We are told to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37) Anything in our lives that we love or depend on more than God is an idol to us. This could be members of our family or friends that we hold dear in our lives. Jesus said ” He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” (Matthew 10:37).
If we have any hope of being found worthy of our Lord, we will learn to love both Father and Son more than any other in our lives and more than any human being that has ever lived. If we place others ahead of God, we will be subject to His wrath, which will consume us as a raging fire. We should ask ourselves just how much we love our Lord and our God and be sure that we do not place others higher than them
After all, no human being could do for us the things the Father and the Son are doing and have done for us. How could we love someone more than God, who created us and made a way by we may be saved from our sins and on the judgment day. We cannot and must not place others ahead of Him, who should be everything to us and will not forsake or let us down the way human beings often do. How could we not but place our greatest faith in Him and love Him as we aught.
What about the material things in this life that many put ahead of their service to God. If we glory in our jobs and the things that our jobs bring us so much that we depend on them as if God did not exist, or depend on them more than we depend on Him, we are also guilty of idolatry. We must recognize that all things come from God and realize that He blesses us as He sees fit, giving Him the glory for everything we posses or that we might become on the job or in our career.
If we cannot give Him the glory, but lean on our material things as if our lives depend on them rather than on God, we are making idols of material things and perhaps our own ego in that we credit ourselves with obtaining material well being, instead of God who has made it all possible. Paul wrote “whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) And Peter wrote: “To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever.”(1 Peter 5:11).
If we cannot learn to do all things to the glory of God and in all things give him the glory and dominion, we will find ourselves consumed, come the judgment day, by the fiery wrath of our God. We will be guilty of the sin of idolatry, which God cannot abide. If we learn to love Him with all our heart, our mind and our soul, we will give Him the proper place in our lives and avail ourselves of His salvation by doing the things He requires.
Doing so gives us hope that we will be found worthy of our Lord and Savior come the judgment day and that He will welcome us to an eternal home in heaven. We must examine ourselves and be sure that we put no other gods (idols) before God and repent when we do, learning to love God more and giving Him the proper place in our lives. If you have not obeyed the gospel, see the links above on baptism and the plan of salvation. Also, see the appropriate category for posts on each step of the plan.
May God bless and keep you until next time.