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Page 391


The first commandment not only forbids blatant, subtle, and practical atheism - all forms of denying God - but it also condemns all forms of idolatry. Idolatry is the placing of anyone or anything in a position of equal or higher value than God. Any person or object placed in this position is an idol; it is valued, reverenced, and worshipped as "god."

Idolatry is very foolish as well as wicked. Israel's Old Testament history is full of examples condemning idolatry. Can you name several?


    Elijah confronted the king, false priests, and people of Israel, with their idol worship - the worship of Baal. Review the scene which took place on Mount Carmel as recorded in I Kings 19.

    How did Elijah testify of the foolishness of idolatry? How did he testify of the wickedness of idolatry?

    During a Mission Assembly at school, a visiting missionary showed various pictures of African heathen gods - pictures of pigs' teeth, carved masks, bird feathers, etc.

    During a follow-up discussion in his classroom, Terry asked the following question, "How can those people be so foolish to actually treat their collection of pigs' teeth as a god?" Several others have left the assembly with the same question on their mind.

    "This seems very strange to us," Terry's teacher responded. "In this sense we are blessed with more education; but we, too, have some very strange idols, I think!

 

And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.

- Exodus 23:13

Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God.

- Leviticus 19:4

Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen.

- Deuteronomy 27:15

There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god.

- Psalm 81:9

Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.

- Acts 17:29

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

- Romans 1:22-23

Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

- I John 5:21

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, 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.

- Revelation 21:8

 

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