The Bible clearly indicates that idolatry is an abomination to God. The first two commandments God gave to Moses directly spoke to the subject of idols.
You must not have any other god but me. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. Exodus 20:3-4
Today’s chapter in Jeremiah points to the severity of worshiping anything other than God.
To an image carved from a piece of wood they say, ‘You are my father.’ To an idol chiseled from a block of stone they say, ‘You are my mother.’ They turn their backs on me, but in times of trouble they cry out to me, ‘Come and save us!’ Jeremiah 2:27
As I read this chapter my mind began to wonder. What is the difference between a person’s way of life and addiction?
What I came up with was, a person can easily decide to change their way of life. But an addiction grips that person’s life. Thus, to make a change usually takes help and often a painful effort.
I also concluded that worshiping idols goes beyond a way of life. It becomes an addiction. Look at how Jeremiah described idol worship.
When will you stop running? When will you stop panting after other gods? But you say, ‘Save your breath. I’m in love with these foreign gods, and I can’t stop loving them now!’ Jeremiah 2:25
God’s People In the Bible were Involved with Idolatry
The people Jeremiah wrote to, “God’s people,” were the ones involved in worshiping idols. Actions that stood in total disobedience to God’s law.
They acted like a person addicted to drugs or alcohol. Everything is fine with them as long as they get their fix. Or until they get caught.
“Israel is like a thief who feels shame only when he gets caught. They, their kings, officials, priests, and prophets— all are alike in this. Jeremiah 2:26
Even today, carvings made from wood and statues chiseled from stone have become sacred to many. Throughout history, this has become an accepted practice.
God created us to worship Him. But with Satan’s influence, manmade idols have become a center of worship for many.
A small cross hanging around one’s neck is often used as some sort of sacred shrine. Even for some Christians, God’s own people.
And that’s who God addressed in Jeremiah. He wasn’t talking about pagan people from a third-world country. No, he was talking about his very own children.
It was they who abandoned God. It was they who went to creating and worshiping their own gods. They blatantly disregarded the creator of the universe.
O my people, listen to the words of the Lord! Have I been like a desert to Israel? Have I been to them a land of darkness? Why then do my people say, ‘At last we are free from God! We don’t need him anymore!’ Jeremiah 2:31
The Bible Instructs Us to Avoid Idolatry
The Bible gives us clear instructions to help us steer clear of idolatry. I have observed two major areas that Christians can get caught up in.
Christianity vs Religion
First, we must differentiate between Christianity and religion. Christianity revolves around pleasing Jesus in everything we do. Before I mention religion, let me say this.
I would certainly not knock a traditional worship service. Many experience the Lord in that type of setting. Others though just do their religious duty thinking they are doing God a favor.
It seems the more religious they or their church acts, the better they feel about themselves. Look what God said about this type of person.
“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! Revelation 3:15-16
A Christian’s Priorities
The other thing I have observed is how low God falls in the priorities of some Christians. When they need the Lord the most, what do they do?
They try everything under the sun on their own instead of taking it to the Lord. They will say, “I’ve tried everything else maybe now I should pray about it.” Jesus addressed that very thing.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33
Check out this related post called Enjoy The Presence Of God.
How does the Lord handle people who don’t worship Him or prioritize Him in their lives? The same way he did in the Old Testament.
He sits back and waits patiently for them to get past themselves and turn back to him.
The sad part about it though happens when we don’t see the need to go to the Lord. We put ourselves through all kinds of stress and strife. Things we never needed to experience.
Lord, check us when we are tempted to turn from the Bible to idolatry. And teach us to always come to you first. Thank you, Lord, that we don’t have to act or sound religious to please you.
Related post on other things about the Bible.
- This Delay In The Bible Was Wonderful For Us
- Everything In The Bible Is True Including Lies
- What Does The Bible Say About Judging Others?
Check out all of Jeremiah 2.
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1 thought on “Idolatry In The Bible”
Thank you for your post today about idolatry and worship.
As a pastor, please continue to share about the importance of true worship. As a Worship Director, I can testify how easy it is for us as people to worship ourselves, our music, our church services, etc.
May the Lord help us worship only Him.
The book True Worship: Embracing Christ and His Word to Fulfill Your Life’s Calling is available through Amazon if it’s of interest.
Many blessings in Christ!