John Calvin once wrote, “Man’s nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols.”
For this reason, when God brought His people Israel into the promised land He commanded Moses,
“Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you cross over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their figured stones, and destroy all their molten images and demolish all their high places; and you shall take possession of the land and live in it, for I have given the land to you to possess it …‘But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall come about that those whom you let remain of them will become as pricks in your eyes and as thorns in your sides, and they will trouble you in the land in which you live. ‘And as I plan to do to them, so I will do to you.’” (Numbers 33:51-53, 55, 56)
Israel was no match for the inhabitants of the land, they were incredible idolaters, as all men are, and if Israel were to fraternize with them, they surely would adopt all their idols also. In time that is exactly what happened. So God warned them that if they did not drive out the inhabitants and destroy all their molten images, then what God planned to do to the inhabitants He would do to them.
God determined to drive out the inhabitants and to destroy all their idols, but in the end after 1200 years of disobedience, he eventually scattered Israel to all the nations of the world.
After teaching of Israel’s apostasy, (Turning their back on the revealed will of God as spoken by the prophets and written in the scriptures) in (Romans 9 – 11) Paul wrote to his readers at Rome,
“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1,2)
Either we worship the one true and living God or we will worship false gods of wood or false ideologies such as are found in a myriad of cults and pseudo Christian religions.
In our great country of America, as in the rest of the world, we are very good at elevating men that do great things among us. There are entertainers that are able to perform through acting, singers who can hit high notes, military men of great courage, men of intelligence and learning who make great discoveries, athletes that work very hard to be faster and stronger than all their contemporaries, and diplomats that negotiate the best they can to make peace.
However, how many stop to give God the glory for what He has accomplished through them? The apostle Paul when speaking in Athens said, “…in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” The natural man does not recognize the God that gives all men life and breathe during every day of our lives.
Bound within the heart of all men is the willingness to take the Son of God and nail Him to a wooden cross, because that is where we think He belongs. We would rather mock God than worship Him. We prefer to twist His words as recorded in the Bible than obey them, and thereby worship Him.
As Christians we should not take lightly the admonitions to forsake the world, turn away from following idols, and adhere very closely to the teachings of scripture. If we do not we will surely turn again to false gods to worship them, and many times they are disguised as forms of Christian worship. In the name of Christian freedom the church at Corinth worshiped false gods and were chided by the Apostle Paul.
May that not be said of us!