Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
Weekly Review Tree of Life Week Ending 092417
Dispensation of the Mosaic Law. The First and Second Commandments. Doctrine of Idolatry.
The first commandment is dealing with idolatry in the soul, while the second commandment deals with overt idolatry. The first commandment is where true liberty begins in EXO 20:3-6, “You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
The Doctrine of Idolatry. Point 1. Definition.
First of all what is idolatry? The word idolatry actually has two meanings;
- The worship of a physical object or objects as God. 2. Inordinate attachment or extreme devotion to something.
The second meaning of course would be more applicable in our day and age. An idol is actually defined as an object of extreme devotion, hence, it could be almost anything or anyone in a person’s life.
Point 2. The Divine Viewpoint concerning Idolatry.
What do the scriptures have to say concerning idolatry?
- First of all, the commandments of the Lord are against idolatry and are related to the fact that Israel was appointed as a client nation to God, EXO 19:4‑6.
EXO 19:4-6, “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself. Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.”
- The first commandment prohibits mental idolatry, and the second commandment prohibits overt idolatry, EXO 20:1‑6; DEU 5:6‑10.
EXO 20:1-5, Then God spoke all these words, saying, I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them;”
The inner manifestation of those believers who have idols in their life is revealed by their worship of those idols. The overt manifestation of those believers who have idols in their life is revealed by their service to them.
So the worship of idolatry is found in the mind and in heart whereas the serving of those Idols is revealed with body.
EXO 20:5, “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,”
- The first commandment prohibits mental idolatry, and the second commandment prohibits overt idolatry.
- Idolatry was also specifically forbidden because of the danger that lies behind the idol in EXO 20:23, DEU 5:7, 6:14.
- Idolatry is also analogous to spiritual adultery; JER 3:8‑10; EZE 16:23‑43.
- The scripture teaches that idolatry begins in the mind and proceeds to overt practice, JDG 2:10‑13; EZE 14:7.
JDG 2:10, And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel.
Notice that phrase, they “did not know the Lord”
JDG 2:11, Then [not knowing the Lord] the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals,
The Baals include the following:
- Baal-berith = covenant Baal, or the lord and the guardian of the covenants – “let’s make a deal god.”
- Baal-gad = the lord of good luck, or the Baal of fortune, worshipped in ISA 65:11.
- Baal-hamon = possessor of abundance. We could call this today the god of materialism.
- Baal Hermon = this was the mountain god and the place that was the center of all Baal worship. (Worshipped in JDG 3:3, 1CH 5:23. This could even be classified as the “mountain experience” god.
- Baal peor = this was the god of prostitution and sex, worshipped in NUM 25:1-3.
And of course this god is also still around today in many forms. It’s just that our society is a little more advanced and sophisticated.
- Baal Zebub = the fly god, or the god of counterfeit. (Worshipped in 2Ki 1:2-3.6:16.) = the god of deception
1CO 10:19-22, What do I mean then? That a thing sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than He, are we?
ZEC 10:2, For the teraphim [objects of deity] speak iniquity, And the diviners see lying visions, And tell false dreams; They comfort in vain. Therefore the people wander like sheep, They are afflicted, because there is no shepherd.
So these verses teach that any form of idolatry is ultimately a form of demonism. Now, because of these principles idolatry is also related to both scar tissue of the soul and emotional revolt of the soul, it produces psychotic and neurotic conditions, JER 50:38.
Speaking to the Jews concerning their apostasy – JER 50:38, “A drought on her waters, and they will be dried up! For it is a land of idols, And they are mad over fearsome idols.”
The worship of idols and false gods or religion is one of the main reasons for national and international disasters throughout the world. The Hebrew word mad is halal which means to act insane, to live in arrogance.
Because you don’t want to fill your soul with thoughts that are negative, critical, judgmental, bitter, or angry, if so you will become halel, (mad) etc.
Now, one of the most popular drawing card of Idolatry has to do with sexual sins.
Point 4. Idolatry also distorts and perverts the divine design of sex.
It motivates the human race to get involved in the whole realm of sexual sins as in the Phallic cult, EZE 22:1‑16, 23:37‑49.
EZE 22:1-16, Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, And you, son of man, will you judge, will you judge the bloody city? Then cause her to know all her abominations. And you shall say, ‘Thus says the Lord God,
A city shedding blood in her midst, so that her time will come, and that makes idols, contrary to her interest, for defilement! You have become guilty by the blood which you have shed, and defiled by your idols which you have made. Thus you have brought your day near and have come to your years; therefore I have made you a reproach to the nations, and a mocking to all the lands.
Those who are near and those who are far from you will mock you, you of ill repute, full of turmoil. Behold, the rulers of Israel, each according to his power, have been in you for the purpose of shedding blood.
They have treated father and mother lightly within you. The alien they have oppressed in your midst; the fatherless and the widow they have wronged in you. You have despised My holy things and profaned My sabbaths.
Slanderous men have been in you for the purpose of shedding blood, and in you they have eaten at the mountain shrines. In your midst they have committed acts of lewdness. In you they have uncovered their fathers’ nakedness; in you they have humbled her who was unclean in her menstrual impurity. And one has committed abomination with his neighbor’s wife, and another has lewdly defiled his daughter‑in‑law.
And another in you has humbled his sister, his father’s daughter. In you they have taken bribes to shed blood; you have taken interest and profits, and you have injured your neighbors for gain by oppression, and you have forgotten Me,” declares the Lord God. Behold, then, I smite My hand at your dishonest gain which you have acquired and at the bloodshed which is among you. Can your heart endure, or can your hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with you?
I, the Lord, have spoken and shall act. And I shall scatter you among the nations, and I shall disperse you through the lands, and I shall consume your uncleanness from you. And you will profane yourself in the sight of the nations, and you will know that I am the Lord.”
JER 9:14, “But they have walked after the stubbornness of their heart [the scar tissue of their hearts] and after the Baals, as their fathers taught them.
And so this bring us the relationship between idolatry and the Phallic Cult. The Phallic cult came from the Phoenicians and includes immorality of all kinds, such as incest, fornication, homosexuality, bestiality, LEV 18:3‑25; Demonism, LEV 20:6; Human sacrifice, LEV 20:1‑5; Rejection of authority, LEV 20:9; And social degeneracy, LEV 20:10‑23.