Meditation: Exodus 20 (2 of 2)

Reading: Exodus 20:18-26

Israel is going to the Promised Land which is occupied by nations serving idols. Their idolatry is so dangerous that God warn against it immediately after giving the Law (vs 23). God repeats this warning many times. Isaiah 45:21 “And there is no other God besides Me”.

Why these frequent warnings?  Idolatry is attractive to the carnal mind; it is combined with sinful pleasures. Silver and golden idols are beautiful and sensual; to be near them makes you feel good. At their feasts wine, ungodly music and sexual activities are offered. Participation is exciting, but it leads to much sin, God’s jealousy and punishment.

The Israelites can also make an idol of their lifestyle and thus seek their happiness. They can organise their lives, work, money and time to maximise their selfish pleasures. God is denied His tithes; they worship only themselves, turning pleasure into idolatry. Malachi 3:10 and 11 shows how foolish this is. God curses such idolatry, but if they repent He will “pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.”

The Israelites can also commit idolatry by pride and rejoicing in self-achievement, robbing God of His honour. When the harvest is plentiful they rebel against God; “Jeshurun grew fat and kicked” (Deuteronomy 32:15). They praise each other and rejoice in themselves instead of God. But they must rejoice in God, for good reason: “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10).

Key text: Ex 20:23-24 “You shall not make anything to be with Me — gods of silver or gods of gold you shall not make for yourselves.”

Question: What are idols are worshipped in your country? Which ones are tempting for the believers? Why?