How good has your idol been to you?

 Ezekiel 8:7-10

And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall. Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door. And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here. So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about.

WHAT IS IDOLATRY?

Idolatry is the worship of idols or an excessive devotion to a person or a reverence for something. An idol is anything that replaces the one, true God. The most prevalent form of idolatry in Bible times was the worship of images that were thought to embody the various pagan gods.

Article: When we hear the word idol we often think of statues and objects reminiscent of those worshipped by pagans in ancient cultures. However, the idols of the 21st century often bear no resemblance to the artifacts used thousands of years ago. Today, we have replaced the “golden calf” with an insatiable drive to reach the top of the corporate ladder or with a myriad of other passionate pursuits.  An idol can be anything we place ahead of God in our lives, anything that tugs at our heart more than God does, such as possessions, careers, relationships, hobbies, sports, entertainment, goals, greed, addictions to alcohol/drugs/gambling/pornography, etc.

WHAT IDOLATRY DOES TO GOD: (Exodus 20:4)

It Attempts to Counterfeit God. Idolatry mocks the Lord by providing a profane, finite, and cheap substitute for worshipping a holy and infinite God. It deviates mankind from worshipping the true and living God; thus, robbing God of the glory due to Him (Isa. 42:8). “I am the LORD that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, nether my praise to graven images.”

It Attempts to Constrain God. Idolatry shrinks the infinite and Almighty God into a convenient and manageable size. If God is reduced to a mere statue or even a vague idea, then He becomes less intimidating. Sinful rebellious men are attracted to gods they can manage.

It Attempts to Control. In idolatry, the worshipper has control. People want a suitable god that they can manipulate. If god can be confined in a stone or wooden image, or put in the pocket, then god can be easily “lost or found.” If someone does not want god to be around, they can just temporarily lose god. Without god around, the conscience can easily justify feeling good about doing wrong! If god can just be fixed upon a shelf, on an altar, or inside a temple, the idolater has their god under control! However, the Creator controls His creatures; man can never control God! (Acts 17:24-25)

WHAT IDOLATRY DOES TO MAN: (Exodus 20:5)

It Will Dominate Man (I Cor. 12:2) “Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.” The term we use today for idol is “addiction.” Show me your addiction, and I will show you your idol. You can be addicted to work, sports, food, alcohol, drugs, sex, etc. – even while denying it!

Article: Pilgrim March, Addiction and Idolatry: Spiritually, addiction is a deep-seated form of idolatry. The objects of our addictions become our false gods. These are what we worship, what we attend to, where we give our time and energy, instead of love. Addiction, then, displaces and supplants God’s love as the source and object of our deepest true desire. It is, as one modern spiritual writer has called it, a “counterfeit of religious presence.”

Addiction is a state of compulsion, obsession, or preoccupation that enslaves a person’s will and desire. Addiction sidetracks and eclipses the energy of our deepest, truest desire for love and goodness. We succumb because the energy of our desire becomes attached, nailed, to specific behaviors, objects, or people. 

Addiction isn’t limited to just those with chemical dependencies.  It’s not just the alcoholic or the homeless drug addict who struggles with addiction.  Addiction is pervasive and pernicious.  It infects our daily routines and sabotages our ability to love God and love others.

It Will Disappoint Man. Idolatry always promises more than it can deliver; but all idolaters will be disillusioned because the gods they made are powerless. (Jer. 10:14 “Every man is brutish in his knowledge, every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them. They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the the time of their visitation they shall perish.”)

READ: Psa. 115:4-7. Every time man puts his expectation in something other than God, he will always be disappointed. Only God can fill the vacuum in man’s heart!

It Will Deform Man (Psa. 115:8) “They that make them are like unto them; so is everyone that trusteth in them.” Idols can change and distort men. Men become like what they value most. Notice that first, a man shapes his idol; then the idol shapes him! Ultimately, man is not only deformed but conformed to his chosen idol. Idols will dominate, disappoint, deform, and lastly idols will destroy you!

It Will Destroy  (Rev. 21:8) “But the fearful and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murders, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” The destruction of those that experience the second death are idolaters. 

WHAT WORSHIP OF GOD DOES TO MAN (Exo. 20:6)

It Will Delight Him (Psa. 37:4) “Delight thyself in the Lord and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Concerning the idol of addiction, recovery gives you everything that addiction promises.” Never settle for a cheap imitation; worship and serve only the true God of the Bible.

It Will Deliver Him (John 8:32). “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” You can be free from the control of your idols. Live for an audience of One – God alone! You can be free from your past – forgiven from sins and mistakes. You can be free from your present – empowered to break sinful habits. You can be free from your future – unafraid of death and Hell—eternity with God!

 It Will Develop Him (II Cor 3:18) “But we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” We are daily being changed into a new glorious image by the Spirit of the Lord. One day, we shall be transformed into Christ’s very image (Rom. 8:29).

 

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