Ex 20:3-6 "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."

Ex 20:23 "Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold."

What do you think of when you picture an idol? Do you see an image of Buddha like the one above? The truth is, an idol can be anything you place first in your life. Below are several dictionary definitions of the word IDOL:

  • An image used as an object of worship.
  • A false god.
  • Something visible but without substance.
  • Something that is adored, often blindly or excessively.
God considers anything you put before Him Idolatry. It could be: house, car, job, money, hobby, sports, too much TV or sleep or anything you do in excess and put before Him and anything you care about more than you do Him. God is very jealous of the things we spend our time, energy and money on. We can even get caught up in doing good works for the wrong reasons. That sounds odd, doesnít it? But think about it. If you are doing good works so people will see what a great person you are and you will get the glory for it, then it isnít for God - it is for the wrong reason. God wants us to focus our attention on Him. He wants our heart, mind, soul and strength and will settle for nothing less.

Judges 6:25-27 "And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father's young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down. Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father's household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night."

Judges 6:31-32 "And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar. Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar."

Israel had once again done evil by turning to false gods and had cried for God to save them out of the hand of the Midianites. God sent them Gideon. The Israelites had built an altar to Baal and a grove next to it. Baal was often associated with the goddess Astoreth. Astoreth was usually symbolized by a carved tree trunk which was set up in a grove next to the altar of Baal, her counterpart. Rituals performed in this grove are thought to be sexual in nature because both Baal and Astoreth were fertility gods. God told Gideon to take his fatherís bullock and throw down the altar of Baal and cut down the grove, then build another altar to God and offer a second bullock on it as a sacrifice using the wood from the grove which he cut down. Gideon was afraid to do this during the day because of fear of his fatherís household and the men from the city. He went under cover of night and carried out the Lordís command. When the men from the city asked who broke down the altar, they were told it was Gideon. They told his father to bring him out so they could kill him. Notice the scripture above, how Gideonís father answered: ďif he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar.Ē Contrary to what the Israelites believed, instead of saving them, worshipping Baal and Astoreth was what had gotten them into trouble in the first place. By not worshipping God, by turning their backs on the only True God, He had allowed them to be taken captive by Midian. Only by destroying their false gods and turning back to Him could they free themselves from the bondage of slavery. He was providing for them a deliverer - Gideon, and they wanted to kill him; sound familiar? They did the same thing when He sent His Son to earth to save men from their sins! Luckily for Israel, this story has a happy ending. Gideon, with Godís help, chooses his army, goes out to war against the Midianites, but doesnít even have to fight. God takes over and wins the battle and frees fickle Israel once again.

Many times we get ourselves into trouble the same way and we donít understand why bad things are happening. This is when we need to do as Israel did and cry out to God for deliverance. Then, if He sends us a Gideon, donít shoot the messenger! Donít take offence if someone tells you a Biblical truth and it hits home. Heed the warning and turn back to God.

Iím not saying every time something bad happens itís because your life is out of line with God. Sometimes God allows bad things to happen for reasons we cannot foresee and we have done nothing wrong. It could be to make us stronger, to test us or for the benefit of someone else. And - death - think about it - everyone must die sometime! No one lives forever! So we will all lose loved ones throughout our lifetime. Iím simply saying if you pray about trouble in your life and God shows you where you need to move up - then youíd better MOVE!

Isaiah 46:5-9 "To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like? They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a god: they fall down, yea, they worship. They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him, and set him in his place, and he standeth; from his place shall he not remove: yea, one shall cry unto him, yet can he not answer, nor save him out of his trouble. Remember this, and shew yourselves men: bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors. Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,"

Psalms 115:3-8 "But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them."

John 11:25 "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:"

How do we fall into idol worship or worshipping an image? Do we just wake up one morning and decide we will go out and buy an image and sit it on a table and declare that to be our god? Sounds ridiculous, doesnít it? Most people are deceived little by little into believing that there is another way to life after death other than Jesus Christ, the living Son of the only True God. People are told there is another book other than the word of God (The Holy Bible) that was written after the Bible and declares another gospel that proves Jesus was only a man and someone else has been sent to ďleadĒ them. These people are false prophets and their religions are cults. Their congregations set these prophets up as idols. Some have actually died and people have made statues of them and now set up the images in synagogues and in their homes as symbols of worship calling many of them gods. My question to the followers of these men would be: if they were gods, how can they hear and answer prayer now if they are dead? In Isaiah 46, God said people bring Gold, weigh out silver and hire a goldsmith to make them a god. They even carry it around, stand it in itís place and fall down and worship it - crying out to it to save them from their trouble, but their god canít answer them; it is only made by man. He is God and there is no other God like Him!

Jesus died and then was resurrected to prove that He has power over death. It was necessary for redemption of man from sin but He also did this to show that He is, indeed, alive. He wanted men to witness His birth, life, death and resurrection to prove to mankind that the God they serve is a living God. He overcame death and the grave and ascended to heaven and He is there now to intercede with God the Father for us. Why would I want to worship an idol god made from man-made materials? A god who is dead and cannot hear or answer my prayers. I know a living God who made me, knows me, loves me and He accepted me ďJust As I Am.Ē When I came to Him, I was dying, good for nothing and could do nothing for myself. He picked me up, wiped off my sin and put me on my feet again. Then He loved me, as small as I am! My God is bigger and better than all the other little gods put together, PLUS He is alive! And because He lives, so can I. No other god can do that for me!

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Seek ye first the Kingdom of God
And His righteousness
And all these things
shall be added unto you
Hallelu, Hallelujah!

Man shall not live by bread alone
But by every word
That proceeds from the mouth of God
Hallelu, Hallelujah!

Ask and it shall be given unto you
Seek and ye shall find
Knock and the door
shall be opened unto you
Hallelu, Hallelujah!

If the Son shall set you free
Ye shall be free indeed
Ye shall know the truth,
and it shall set you free
Hallelu, Hallelujah!

Let your light so shine
before men that they may see
Your good works and glorify
Your Father in heaven
Hallelu, Hallelujah!

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart
He shall direct thy paths
In all thy ways acknowledge Him
Hallelu, Hallelujah!

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