How To Worship And What Is Idolatry? Find Out

Are you familiar with the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal? If not you can read this event in 1 Kings 18:20-40. Why I mentioned this story? This story manifests how God is the God above all the gods and the Creator of everything. On this week’s insight, we will be looking into one of the sins stated in the 10 Commandments: Idolatry.

Scripture

2 Chronicles 6:12-42 & 1 John 5

Overview

2 Chronicles 6:12-42 – Illustrates King Solomon’s prayer of dedication which happens to be the title of these verses. Solomon, while leading the people to pray, asked God’s help in many situations. Seven particular concerns were the following: 1) crime, 2) enemy attacks, 3) drought, 4) famine, 5) foreigners, 6) war and 7) sin1,3.

1 John 5 – This chapter is divided into three subheadings, namely: “Overcoming the world”, “Testimony Concerning the Son of God”, “That You may Know”3. The first 5 verses talks about some attributes of a real Christian, which are: 1) right belief (v.1, 5), 2) obedience to God (v.2-3), and 3) love (v.1-3)4.

Observation

Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands. --- 2 Chronicles 6:12 KJV
Little children, keep yourselves from idols. --- 1 John 5:21  KJV

Application

What is an idol?

Before my understanding about idols was more on praying to other deities. Similarly, how in ancient times people who worship pagan gods. As I study more the scriptures, idols were not only pertaining to these gods. Rather, it was more extensive than I thought. Once career can be considered as an idol. In addition, an aspiration, dream or mammon can also be your god.

Although, I am not saying having a great career, abundant riches, or ambitions are already evil in nature. On the contrary, God wants us to aspire for things in our life. He wants us to desire the pure and holy attributes. However, the sinner in us wants the opposite.

What we have enumerated above becomes an idol when it takes the place of Christ in our lives. I, too, struggle on this. I long and pray to have a baby, and often I think of it more than I think about God. Realizing this, I confessed my sin to God and invoked the Holy Spirit to guide me in my thoughts. When thoughts about kids pass my mind, I always remind myself of God’s works in the barren women of the Bible.

All things considered, for all women who is undergoing the same concern as I have, keep in mind God’s word in Psalm 130: I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope(v.5)2.

Why is wrong?

Paul and John, like the rest of the prophets, have one voice regarding idolatry. John warns us as he said in his first letter to keep ourselves from idols (1 John 5:21 KJV). While Paul said, Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:14 ESV).

Why do these prophets and apostles forewarn us about the sin of idolatry? Exodus 20:4 answers this question for us. God is explains His reason on the succeeding verse. We sin against God when we turn our focus and devotion to idols. Idolatry disrespects and offends God who is the source of everything.

Jeremiah have described it well when he said, 27who say to a tree, ‘You are my father,’ and to a stone, ‘You gave me birth.’For they have turned their back to me, and not their face. But in the time of their trouble they say, ‘Arise and save us!’ 28 But where are your gods that you made for yourself? Let them arise, if they can save you, in your time of trouble; for as many as your cities are your gods, O Judah (v.27-28 KJV).

Reflect on this. When you are troubled or worst when you hit rock bottom, who do you call for guidance or ask the “whys” that you have? Is “Why God is this happening in my life” one of your questions?

How to avoid this sin?

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). One sentence with a lot of impact. We often receive mix messages on what really is the purpose of God in our lives that we forget that our few of our main tasks is to seek and praise Him.

When we focus on knowing God, the Gospel of Christ, repenting, and praying to the Holy Spirit to give us a new heart, we have a chance on avoiding not only idolatry but all of the sins. Our convictions and faith should be rooted on God’s word and Christ.

As what Paul said to church in Colossae, Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth (3:2 ESV). In the same way we should fill our days with tasks and activities that will bring you closer to Jesus. An example of this would be reading and memorizing Bible verses, praying and meditating on the scriptures, and cultivating relationships with other Christians.

More study

I have reflected on different books in the Bible that will guide us more on understanding our tendencies to lose our focus in God. The weekly insight was published in March 21, 2020, entitled: Who is your intercessor?

Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven. Holy is Your name and You alone are our God and Lord. We confess our sins of idolatry to You. Moreover, we ask for Your forgiveness when we focus too much on (name your idols) and not on You and what You have done for us.

Thank You Lord for Your provisions and blessing even though we do not deserve it. Especially for Your Son, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to redeem us from our sins and rose from the dead to give us eternal life. Also, we thank You for the Holy Spirit, who is guiding us always towards You.

We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

REFERENCE

12012. Chronological Life Application Study Bible: New Living Translation. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 

21989. King James Bible. Thomas Nelson, Inc.

32010. The MacArthur Study Bible: English Standard Version. Crossway Publishing.

42017 Apologetics: Study Bible for Students. Christian Standard Bible. Holman Bible Publishers.

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