As part of GOING DEEPER INTO GOD'S WORD, we were in Ezekiel 14. There are two themes poured out in this chapter: Idolatry and Unfaithfulness. Then closer look coming punishment and the judgment to be visited on those get caught up in both idolatry and unfaithfulness. Some will read this chapter of God's Word with the idea that since this was written to Israel, it really does not have any bearing on their life. Hmmmm ... for any who are coming from that thought, my question to you is: Are you sure??
Do you know you are grafted into the family of God? That happened at the moment of your ABC of salvation when you:
Acknowledged, you were a sinner.
Believed, Jesus is the Son of God and that His bloodshed on the cross
cleansed you of all unrighteousness.
Confessed Jesus is Lord.
At that moment, you, friend, became a member of God’s Chosen People. And WHO are God’s Chosen people: The Israelites. Therefore as part of the family, all their blessings, curses, warnings, and so forth apply to your life. Think about that for a second!! Let it sink in … that means that what is written in the Old Testament is very relative to your standing with God. No, we who are saved by Jesus are not under the LAW. We do not sacrifice animals to atone for sin because Jesus did all that: He paid the price for our sin, now and forever. BUT we are not to continue in sinful ways of ma. The Covenant that God put in place to the Israelites, such as the 10 Commandments, is very, very relative to how we are to live every minute of every day. And we will circle around to those 10 Commandments later this week … by the way, nowhere in the New Testament are any of the 10 Commandments nullified!!
BUT the point of why this chapter for today??!! This chapter was identified with Noah … that guy that God told to build an ark because He was going to destroy what He had made and start over again. And there is a strong warning, and truth stated MULTIPLE TIMES in this chapter for those who have the desire to dig deeper and give consideration.
First … let’s define idolatry… are you guilty of this sin that is such an abomination to the God we say we love and worship?? Do you know what idolatry is defined as?? Yes, you can get a definition different from Wikipedia or the internet, but seriously do we want to trust that source? Idolatry speaks of religious worship of physical idols or excessive reverence or devotion to something. In biblical terms, idolatry is the worship of anything other than God. Colossians 3:5 links idolatry with covetousness. When we want something so much that we covet it, the thing has become an idol. We seek it rather than God. (https://www.compellingtruth.org/definition-of-idolatry.html)
Does this unsettle you a little bit? Not sure about your home, but in our house, we do not have any little statues that we offer food, drink, or to which we pray. MOMENT OF TRANSPARENCY: I most certainly am guilty of wanting something so badly that that thing did become the all in all of my focus and attention.
God gave us His LIVING Word in the Bible so that we would understand that idolatry extends beyond the worship of images and false gods. Idolatry is a matter of the heart and is associated with pride, focus on self, greed, gluttony ( Php 3:19 ), and love of stuff ( Matt 6:24 ). Consider for a second the 10 Commandments:
Ten Commandments list
You shall have no other gods before Me.
You shall make no idols.
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
Keep the Sabbath day holy.
Honor your father and your mother.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet.
NOTE that the last five have to do with choosing our way because we believe we should have what we want, when we want it and how we want it. We put ourselves in the position of God.
25 verses speak directly that our God expected our devotion, and He does not tolerate fake followers. If we remember that God is a jealous God. We want us to put Him first, and if we put anything first before GOD, we are engaged in idolatry. WHY??? Because that focus elsewhere challenges God's sovereignty and attempts to offer an alternate explanation to the issues of life. The LORD wants us to understand that it not just little statue at stake here. It is the many thoughts, ideas, and things that we bow down and worship as the "all in all."
Take a look at what the Bible has to say about idolatry:
“You shall have no other gods before Me."
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—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."
The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they do not speak; eyes they have, but they do not see; they have ears, but they do not hear; nor is there any breath in their mouths.
“What profit is the image, that its maker should carve it, the molded image, a teacher of lies, that the maker of its mold should trust in it, to make mute idols?
And have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands—wood and stone. Therefore they destroyed them.
‘You shall not make idols for yourselves; neither a carved image nor a sacred pillar shall you rear up for yourselves; nor shall you set up an engraved stone in your land, to bow down to it; for I am the Lord your God."
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
“Those who regard worthless idols forsake their own Mercy.
Let's consider some specific things in our world today that can quickly sneak into our lives and become idols.
Can you relate to any of these?? I sure can especially with relationship, health, intellect, and yes, I admit it FOOD. Around our home, we often joke that our love language is 'food' because everything we do is always centered around feeding the people around us. While that is not necessarily bad, it should probably not be as high up on the list as we make it a "thing."
So what are your thoughts about this list??
Here are some other articles that I found interesting: