When Anything or Anybody Gets What God Alone Deserves
Ex 20:3-4 (NIV) "You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below."
God destroys idols; He is the great iconoclast. Even good things can become idols, and while reveling and boasting seem good at the time, it is a grave disservice to idolize anything or anybody. The result is God's wrath, on you and the idol. God will not be eclipsed.2 Ki 18:3-4 (Amp) Hezekiah did right in the sight of the Lord... He broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until then the Israelites had burned incense to it; but he called it Nehushtan [a brazen trifle].
James 4:5 (Jer) Surely you don't think the Scripture is wrong when it says: the spirit which He sent to live in us wants us for himself alone?
The Lust For Idols--A Matter of The Heart
James 4:3-4 (Phi) You don't get what you want because you don't ask God for it. And when you do ask he doesn't give it to you, for you ask in quite the wrong spirit--you only want to satisfy your own desires. You are like unfaithful wives, never realizing that to be the world's lover means becoming the enemy of God! Anyone who chooses to be the world's friend is thereby making himself God's enemy.
Col 3:5-6 (Jer) That is why you must kill everything in you that belongs only to earthly life: fornication, impurity, guilty passion, evil desires and especially greed, which is the same thing as worshipping a false god. All this sort of behavior makes God angry. (Eph 5:5)
Eze 6:8-9 (NIV) "...How I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts, which have turned away from me, and by their eyes, which have lusted after their idols. They will loathe themselves for the evil they have done and for all their detestable practices."
Deut 29:18 (NIV) Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the Lord our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison. (See also through verse 29.)
But Everyone Else Is Doing It...
2 Ki 17:15 (NIV) They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their fathers and the warnings he had given them. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, "Do not do as they do," and they did the things the Lord had forbidden them to do.
2 Ki 17:40-41 (NIV) They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. Even while these people were worshipping the Lord, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their fathers did.
1 Cor 10:7 (NIV) Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: "The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry."
Public Image--Making Idols Of Men
1 Sam 15:23 (NIV) For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Acts 8:9 (NIV) Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great...
A.W. Tozer: "Christ calls men to carry a cross; we call them to have fun in His name. He calls them to forsake the world; we assure them that if they but accept Jesus the world is their oyster. He calls them to suffer; we call them to enjoy all the bourgeois comforts modern civilization affords. He calls them to self-abnegation and death; we call them to spread out like green bay trees or perchance even to become stars in a pitiful fifth-rate religious zodiac."Eze 8:12 (NIV) He said to me, "Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the darkness, each at the shrine of his own idol?"
2 Pet 2:18 (NIV) For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.
1 Cor 12:1-2 (NIV) ...I do not wish you to be ignorant... somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to dumb idols.
Isa 41:29 (NIV) "See, they are all false! Their deeds amount to nothing; their images are but wind and confusion."
Jer 2:5 (NIV) This is what the Lord says: "What fault did your fathers find in me, that they strayed so far from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves."
Ps 97:7 (NIV) All who worship images are put to shame, those who boast in idols...
1 Sam 12:21 (NIV) Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless.
Isa 57:12-13 (NIV) "I will expose your righteousness and your works, and they will not benefit you. When you cry out for help, let your collection [of idols] save you! The wind will carry all of them off, a mere breath will blow them away. But the man who makes me his refuge will inherit the land and possess my holy mountain."
Isa 42:8 (NIV) "I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols."
Do We Take Idolatry As Seriously As God?
Eze 6:4-6 (NIV) "... I will slay your people in front of your idols. I will lay the dead bodies of the Israelites in front of their idols, and I will scatter your bones around your altars... your idols smashed and ruined, your incense altars broken down, and what you have made wiped out."
1 Cor 6:9-10 (NIV) Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy... (Rom 1:23-25)
Eph 5:5 (NIV) For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person--such a man is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Isa 57:5-8 (NIV) "You burn with lust among the oaks and under every spreading tree... The idols... are your portion; they, they are your lot... You have made your bed on a high and lofty hill... Behind your doors and your doorposts you have put your pagan symbols. Forsaking me, you uncovered your bed, you climbed into it and opened it wide..."
Eze 23:7,29-30 (NIV) She gave herself as a prostitute... and defiled herself with all the idols of everyone she lusted after... They will deal with you in hatred and take away everything you have worked for. They will leave you naked and bare, and the shame of your prostitution will be exposed. Your lewdness and promiscuity have brought this upon you, because you lusted after the nations and defiled yourself with their idols.
Isa 57:10-11 (NIV) "You were wearied by all your ways, but you would not say, 'It is hopeless.' You found renewal of your strength, and so you did not faint. Whom have you so dreaded and feared that you have been false to me, and have neither remembered me nor pondered this in your hearts? Is it not because I have long been silent that you do not fear me?"
Ezekiel is Grabbed By The Hair and Shown "Inside" The Temple Of God
Eze 8:5-6 (NIV) ..."Son of man, look toward the north." So I looked, and in the entrance north of the gate of the altar I saw this idol of jealousy. And he said to me, "Son of man, do you see what they are doing--the utterly detestable things the house of Israel is doing here, things that will drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see things that are even more detestable."
Eze 8:5:7-10 (NIV) Then he brought me to the entrance to the court. I looked, and I saw a hole in the wall. He said to me, "Son of man, now dig into the wall." So I dug into the wall and saw a doorway there. And he said to me, "Go in and see the wicked and detestable things they are doing here." So I went in and looked, and I saw portrayed all over the walls all kinds of crawling things and detestable animals and all the idols of the house of Israel.
Eze 8:12,15 (NIV) He said to me, "Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the darkness, each at the shrine of his own idol? They say, 'The Lord does not see us...'" He said to me, "Do you see this, son of man? You will see things that are even more detestable than this."
Eze 8:16-18 (NIV) He then brought me into the inner court of the house of the Lord, and there at the entrance to the temple, between the portico and the altar, were about twenty-five men. With their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east, they were bowing down to the sun in the east. He said to me, "Have you seen this, son of man? Is it a trivial matter for the house of Judah to do the detestable things they are doing here?... Look at them putting the branch to their nose! [witchcraft] Therefore I will deal with them in anger; I will not look on them with pity or spare them. Although they shout in my ears, I will not listen to them."
Eze 9:1-2 (NIV) Then I heard him call out in a loud voice, "Bring the guards of the city here, each with a weapon in his hand." And I saw six men coming from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with a deadly weapon in his hand. With them was a man clothed in linen who had a writing kit at his side. They came in and stood beside the bronze altar.
Eze 9:3-4 (NIV) Now the glory of the God of Israel went up from above the cherubim, where it had been, and moved to the threshold of the temple. Then the Lord called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side and said to him, "Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it."
Would You Qualify For This "Mark" In God's "Temple" Today?
Eze 9:5-7 (NIV) As I listened, he said to the others, "Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion. Slaughter old men, young men and maidens, women and children, but do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary." So they began with the elders who were in front of the temple. Then he said to them, "Defile the temple and fill the courts with the slain. Go!" So they went out and began killing throughout the city.
Eze 9:8-11 (NIV) While they were killing and I was left alone, I fell facedown, crying out, "Ah, Sovereign Lord! Are you going to destroy the entire remnant... in this outpouring of your wrath...?" He answered me, "The sin of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great... So I will not look on them with pity or spare them, but I will bring down on their own heads what they have done." Then the man in linen with the writing kit at his side brought back word, saying, "I have done as you commanded."
2 Cor 6:16 (NIV) What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."
James 4:5 (NIV) ...the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely...
Repent Or Perish--A Greater Judgement Is Coming
A.W. Tozer: "Grace will save a man... but it will not save him and his idol."Jonah 2:8 (NIV) "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs."
Eze 14:3-6 (NIV) "Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all? Therefore speak to them and tell them, 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When any Israelite sets up idols in his heart and puts a wicked stumbling block before his face and then goes to a prophet, I the Lord will answer him myself in keeping with his great idolatry. I will do this to recapture the hearts of the people of Israel, who have all deserted me for their idols... Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!'" (Joshua 24:14-27, Deut 30:11-19)
1 Pet 4:3 (NIV) For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do--living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.
James 4:7-10 (Phi) Be humble then before God... You are sinners: get your hands clean again. Your loyalty is divided: get your hearts made true once more. You should be deeply sorry, you should be grieved, you should even be in tears. Your laughter will have to become mourning, your high spirits will have to become dejection. You must humble yourself in the sight of the Lord before he will lift you up.
Eze 36:25 (NIV) "I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols."
Eze 37:23 (NIV) "They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God."
1 Jn 5:21 (NIV) Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.
1 Cor 10:14 (NIV) Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.
Extra Stuff on Idolatry
Next Study: The Name
The Spiritual Adultery Bible Study Series Intro