The Consequences of idolatry

The Consequences of Idolatry are so grave because it invokes God’s wrath; Idolatry requires “putting something or someone in place of or before God” in our lives.

 “You shall have no other gods before me”(Exodus 20:3).

God, indeed, desires to take his rightful place in our lives– he wants us to chase after him, and follow his ways.

Idolatry is undoubtedly more than bowing down to graven images. It can also be defined as extreme admiration, reverence, or love for something or someone, including ourselves.

We may be quick to exonerate ourselves from indulging the sin of idolatry, simply because we’re not having organised worship services focused on bowing down to graven images, Anything and can serve as an idol, including ourselves.

 

When we take a closer look at every human wrongdoing, we will undoubtedly find that there is a worship of something or someone else other than the Almighty God.

 

In our search for the meaning and purpose of life, in our quest for love, acceptance, sense of belonging, in our fear of being rejected and isolated, in our search to being in the good books of those around us, acquiring possessions, money, sex, power, authority and affluence, we have been seduced into idolatry. We have turned away from the Almighty “our first love.”

 “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first” (Rev 2:4)

How foolish it is for us to abandon the Creator of all things to go lusting after his creation.

Created things are not meant to bring meaning, purpose and satisfaction to the soul of humanity. “Only the creator of the spirit and soul of man can adequately feed it to satisfaction”.

 

“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. 4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? (James 4:3-5)

We are instructed to seek first the kingdom, and every other thing will be added onto us. We do not receive answers to our prayer because our desires are not in sync with God’s will for our lives; our desires are self-gratifying, and God is not glorified in them. We do not receive an answer to our prayers because our hearts are divided, and our eyes are turned away from the Lord by the lusts of our eyes and the evil desires of our heart.

 

It is so essential for the sake of our prosperity to love and pursue God with a singleness of heart; because our human nature, without the reverential fear of the Lord, can only make us violate the moral boundaries God has put in place for our protection; And the product of such violation is gloom and doom!

Consequences of indulging the sin of idolatry:

 Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonouring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason, God gave them up to dishonourable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relationships with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

 

The course of our lives is determined by what we give it to. We cannot deny knowing the truth, for the laws and commandments of God are written on our hearts, and the evidence of Gods nature and existence can be seen and felt all around us.

 When we fail to acknowledge God and choose to go our self-gratifying ways in opposition to God when something is God’s creation takes precedence over God, the Creator, in our lives, the consequences of such decisions are often bitter and cannot be underestimated.

 Those who walk in the ways and reverent fear of the Lord, (which guides their actions and behaviour), have a hedge of protection over them. This hedge of security and protects them from being given over to the consequences of flouting the principles breathed into creation by God.

 

“You shall have no other gods before me.4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of Anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:3-6)

“You will suffer the penalty for your lewdness and bear the consequences of your sins of idolatry. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign LORD.”(Ezekiel 23:49)

 The Lord grieves when our hearts and eyes are turned away from him. He is protectively Jealous over us, over our well being and everything that concerns us.

He knows the consequences of indulging the flesh. He knows that the fruits of unrighteousness, ungodliness, evil, covetousness, malice, envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness, gossip, slander, God-hating, insolence, arrogance, boastfulness, greed, evil invention, being disobedient to parents, foolishness, faithlessness, heartlessness, ruthlessness; will only produce destruction and death, and he wants to protect us from them.

“Then in the nations where they have been carried captive, those who escape will remember me—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.”(Ezekiel 6:9)

 We are called to examine ourselves and repent:

  “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”(Deuteronomy 29:18)

“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? 4 Therefore speak to them and tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When any of the Israelites set up idols in their hearts and put a wicked stumbling block before their faces and then go to a prophet, I the Lord will answer them myself in keeping with their great idolatry. 5 I will do this to recapture the hearts of the people of Israel, who have all deserted me for their idols.’ 6 “Therefore say to the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices! (Ezekiel 14:3-6)

 “Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry” (1Cor 10:14)

 “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 Jn 5:21)

 He is just and merciful:

“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”. (Ezekiel 36:25 )

“They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offences, 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”. (Ezekiel 37:23)

 

Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”(Isa 1:18)

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