Idolatry was manifested in the OT because of the Israelites’ lack of faith. There seemed to be a constant yearning to worship only that which they could see, touch, and feel emotionally. The standard was very high for animals selected for the sacrifices which would represent the Lord Jesus. Anything less was not worthy of the Lord. Much the same, nothing else is worthy of our sacrificial service, giving, and worship other than the Jesus Christ. It is for this reason that idolatry came with such a high price because it was a total rejection of God’s perfect plan for the salvation of men’s souls. Since God is so overwhelmingly offended by the sin of idolatry, it is important that mature Believers recognize every form of it.
1. Physical idols
Deut. 17:2-7 “If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant, And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them,”
2. False gods
“either the sun, or moon,”
3. Demons or Satan
“or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded;”
“And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel: Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die. At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you.” LESSON - Physical items including wealth or emotional experiences offer a sense of pride and a false sense of accomplishment. It’s unfortunate that these things can easily be used to replace the worship of God. Because these items cannot fill the spiritual void, they always leave people wanting more. In addition to these, Pantheism and similar false religions seek to exalt God’s wonderful creations above their desired purpose. Finally, the occult offers cheap substitutes for the Omnipotent power of God by displaying unexplainable physical signs and wonders. Because it can be seen and experienced, many people feel that it’s worthy of worship. Believers must recognize the many forms of idolatry which have crept into our lives, realize how much God is still offended by them, and eradicate every vestige of them which remains in our lives. God ALONE is worthy of our worship and praise!