Heavens Light 11-3-09 The Folly of Idolatry


The Folly of Idolatry

Exodus 20:2-3 

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

“You shall have no other gods before Me. NASB


Having come to know these high and Holy truths about God, how could we refuse to acknowledge His Lordship? What mischief would fill our hearts that would cause us to rebel or disobey God and His Holy Word? Let us be assured that there is none like Him! He is exalted, lifted up high above the heavens, He is Lord and His commands are to be fully obeyed.

Isaiah 44:6-8 – 6 “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me. 7 ‘And who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; Yes, let him recount it to Me in order, From the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming And the events that are going to take place. 8 ‘Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.'” NASB

In the Ten Commandments, God lays out His Law in a summary. The first four deal with man’s relationship to God, the last six deal with man’s relationship to man. Thus the great commandment and the second, love the Lord your God and love your neighbor. Notice though the sequence and priority given. The first commandment states,

Exodus 20:2-3 – 2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3 You shall have no other gods before Me. NASB

Here God speaks of the great priority of mankind, that He is to have the first and rightful place. Does this Great King of the Universe, Creator, Omnipotent, All-Knowing God, deserve any less? Should what has been formed say to Him who formed him, you are not important to me? Why should God give us another breath? Why should we not be consumed in the fiery wrath of judgment for our great transgressions against Him? Oh blessed Mercy! Oh sweet sound of pardon! Yet He would even make us kings and priests to reign with Him! What wondrous love is this?

Nevertheless, mankind rebels, curses, even profanes the glorious name of God with such audacity to form a detestable idol and bow down to it. God therefore addresses this matter of second and third importance saying,

Exodus 20:4-7 – 4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. 7 You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. NASB

Consider what ignorance is in man that he would value and honor a worthless thing above the Great and Glorious Creator who made it all! With what blindness has man been stricken as to do such a deplorable thing? You become like what you worship.  What profit would be gained to a man for bowing down to a block of wood? Indeed those who worship a dead lifeless thing will become like them, a dead lifeless thing! They will be cut off from the Author and Source of life!

Psalm 135:15-18 – 15 The idols of the nations are but silver and gold, The work of man’s hands. 16 They have mouths, but they do not speak; They have eyes, but they do not see; 17 They have ears, but they do not hear; Nor is there any breath at all in their mouths. 18 Those who make them will be like them, Yes, everyone who trusts in them. NASB

Justice demands that such a person be shut out from the good presence of God with fierce wrath and utter finality! Is there greater mutiny? Is there a greater sin of arrogance? What a poor pitiful creature man is, taken in his idolatry, to exchange the Glory of the Immortal God for a worthless, dead inanimate object! God’s judgment will be sure and final!

Isaiah 44:9-11 – 9 Those who fashion a graven image are all of them futile, and their precious things are of no profit; even their own witnesses fail to see or know, so that they will be put to shame. 10 Who has fashioned a god or cast an idol to no profit? 11 Behold, all his companions will be put to shame, for the craftsmen themselves are mere men. Let them all assemble themselves, let them stand up, let them tremble, let them together be put to shame. NASB

Consider the absolute folly of such a thing! Man takes wood from the forest to cook his meals and warm himself. He then makes it into a creation with his own hands and then bows down to worship it, even placing his trust in the same. All the while the God “who gives life and breath and everything else” (Acts 17:25) looks on with great patience, overlooking this great blasphemy and granting them the good things of life.

Isaiah 44:12-17 – 12 The man shapes iron into a cutting tool, and does his work over the coals, fashioning it with hammers, and working it with his strong arm. He also gets hungry and his strength fails; he drinks no water and becomes weary. 13 Another shapes wood, he extends a measuring line; he outlines it with red chalk. He works it with planes, and outlines it with a compass, and makes it like the form of a man, like the beauty of man, so that it may sit in a house. 14 Surely he cuts cedars for himself, and takes a cypress or an oak, and raises it for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants a fir, and the rain makes it grow. 15 Then it becomes something for a man to burn, so he takes one of them and warms himself; he also makes a fire to bake bread. He also makes a god and worships it; he makes it a graven image, and falls down before it. 16 Half of it he burns in the fire; over this half he eats meat as he roasts a roast, and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, “Aha! I am warm, I have seen the fire.” 17 But the rest of it he makes into a god, his graven image. He falls down before it and worships; he also prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for thou art my god.” NASB

What blindness has darkened man’s eyes? What great lie has deluded his pitiful heart? Where is his understanding? Consider how many people today just move through life without even stopping to give thanks to God? How many curse and blaspheme His name, never stopping to consider His great command to repent? Indeed mankind and his world are perishing, even wasting away and all the while he thinks he will live forever or somehow save himself. Stricken with blindness, he gropes about in futility refusing to simply bow His knee to the One who gives him breath! Oh what pity! Here is described the natural state of man! Here his ignorance is made crystal clear, his utter inability to help himself stated plainly!

Isaiah 44:18-20 – 18  They do not know, nor do they understand, for He has smeared over their eyes so that they cannot see and their hearts so that they cannot comprehend. 19 And no one recalls, nor is there knowledge or understanding to say, “I have burned half of it in the fire, and also have baked bread over its coals. I roast meat and eat it. Then I make the rest of it into an abomination, I fall down before a block of wood!” 20 He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has turned him aside. And he cannot deliver himself, nor say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?” NASB

Let us consider what it might be in our lives, which, may be taking first place? Is it God and His commandments? Or God forbid, something else. Could we be guilty of such treason? What is it that we truly value? What do we worship or ascribe worth to?

When we begin to value God above all other things in our lives, then we will begin to become like Him! When we see the great value of life that God has given us, we will then begin to live with great purpose and meaning. When we put God in the first and rightful place, then we will begin to glorify Him in proper measure.

Matthew 22:36-40 – 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.   38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.   40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” 


This lesson is available in PDF format here:  http://www.heavenslight.org/devotional/The_Folly_of_Idolatry.pdf



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Shaan Sloan
Heritage Christian Fellowship – ABQ
The Lord is the Strength of My Life


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