“Keep Yourself From Idols Pt. 1”
1 John 5:18-21 NKJV We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him. 19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. 20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. 21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
Few of us realize the degree to which our chief enemy (Satan) peddles idolatry.
Idol = Anything or anyone that is worshipped as God or instead of God. It can be a person, image, career, hobby, activity, or even a mindset. It can be anything/anyone that hinders us from giving our full devotion and sincere worship to God.
An Overview of Idolatry:
1. God's commands regarding idolatry.
Deuteronomy 12:29-32 NKJV "When the Lord your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, 30 take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, 'How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.' 31 You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. 32 Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.
2. God's consternation regarding idolatry.
Habakkuk 2:18-20 NKJV "What profit is the image, that its maker should carve it, molded image, a teacher of lies, the maker of its mold should trust in it, make mute idols? 19 to him who says to wood, 'Awake!' silent stone, 'Arise! It shall teach!', it is overlaid with gold and silver, in it there is no breath at all. 20 "But the Lord is in His holy temple. all the earth keep silence before Him."
Isaiah 2:8 NKJV Their land is also full of idols; They worship the work of their own hands, That which their own fingers have made.
3. Our consequences for idolatry.
Joshua 23:1-13 NKJV Now it came to pass, a long time after the Lord had given rest to Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua was old, advanced in age. 2 And Joshua called for all Israel, for their elders, for their heads, for their judges, and for their officers, and said to them: "I am old, advanced in age. 3 You have seen all that the Lord your God has done to all these nations because of you, for the Lord your God is He who has fought for you. 4 See, I have divided to you by lot these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from the Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, as far as the Great Sea westward. 5 And the Lord your God will expel them from before you and drive them out of your sight. So you shall possess their land, as the Lord your God promised you. 6 Therefore be very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, lest you turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left, 7 and lest you go among these nations, these who remain among you. You shall not make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause anyone to swear by them; you shall not serve them nor bow down to them, 8 but you shall hold fast to the Lord your God, as you have done to this day. 9 For the Lord has driven out from before you great and strong nations; but as for you, no one has been able to stand against you to this day. 10 One man of you shall chase a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, as He promised you. 11 Therefore take careful heed to yourselves, that you love the Lord your God. 12 Or else, if indeed you do go back, and cling to the remnant of these nations—these that remain among you—and make marriages with them, and go in to them and they to you, 13 know for certain that the Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations from before you. But they shall be snares and traps to you, and scourges on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which the Lord your God has given you.
4. God's cure for idolatry.
Exodus 20:3-6 NKJV "You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 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; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
God is not sad because we choose other things instead of Him, He is jealous because we settle for other things instead of Him.
This message has an accompanying Breakout Group lesson: