Archive for category Idolatry
When Joshua addresses Israel for the final time in his life, he reminds them of what God did for them and then challenges them to live up to that calling. It reminds me of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, where the first three chapters present all that God has done for Christians and the last three urge godly living because of the grace God has bestowed.
In Joshua’s final words we find one of the favorite verses to put on household decorations “But as for me, and my household, we will serve the LORD”.
I find the most interesting part of his final words to be the exhortation to put away the idols that their forefathers worshiped in Egypt and before. It tells us that in spite of the calling of Israel by God they never put away the worldly influence of idolatrous religion. This issue will be the main reason for the downfall of Israel and the destruction of Jerusalem approximately 800 years later.
Beginning on Feb 18th the Daily Bible has compiled the laws given to the nation of Israel by subject matter. It groups various passages from Exodus through Deuteronomy that speak to the same laws. The laws given by Moses are covered in the readings from Feb 18th through March 6th, so for a few weeks we can immerse ourselves in the teachings of God found in the covenant God made with Moses and Israel.
I would like to put a challenge out to all who read along with me. As we read through these laws, try to find the godly principle behind each of these laws. This can be difficult sometimes, we don’t always know why God said something, such as don’t cut the corners of your hair. I may not understand what hair had to do with anything, but try to think how God wanted them to be different from the worldly mindset that surrounded and often invaded the people of Israel. If we do this, I think we can begin to apply the passage the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy in 2Tim 3:16-17, when he told Timothy that ALL SCRIPTURES (meaning even the Old Testament ones) are useful for the teachings of God, for instruction in righteousness and the people of God can be mature, trained in every good work.
In today’s reading, the focus of the laws is the prohibition of serving false gods instead of the true God, the creator of all. Therefore it includes the commandments to make no idols or images of God to worship. Think about why for a moment, how could we make an image of something that has been created (after all that’s all we have seen with our eyes) that could accurately picture one who created all we see? These commands are central to all of the idolatry that mankind has practiced, as Romans chapter one describes people stopped worshiping the creator and instead worshiped the creation in its many forms, animals, plants, earth, people. Today we make idols of many things from money to religion. Sometimes it appears to me people who call themselves godly or Christians worship the church or the religious practices more than the God who made us.
Is it any wonder that the first commandment given from Mount Sinai was to have no others gods before the LORD.