God demands exclusive worship. Our Great King occupies a holy throne at the centre of all creation.He is our Creator-Redeemer, Lord of heaven and earth, and He alone deserves all glory, honour and praise.
We were created to worship. If we don't worship God, our worship will be directed to someone or something in this world. Crafting our own things to worship is the very definition of idolatry.
We are to keep ourselves from idolatry. Guarding ourselves from idolatry involves keeping ourselves from trusting, obeying, revering, and following anything or anyone else but God alone. How do we know if something has reached idol status in our lives? We can take the idolatry test:
The Beauty Test: What attracts you? What is ultimate to you?
The Value Test: What gets your money and time?
The Identity Test: What gives you your identity?
The Coping Test: How do you cope with suffering? Where do you go for comfort?
The Bible warns us again and again about idolatry. Here are 10 Bible verses that speak to idolatry:
Do not have other gods besides me. Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. Do not bow in worship to them, and do not serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, bringing the consequences of the fathers’ iniquity on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commands.
1 John 5:21
Little children, guard yourselves from idols.
This is what the Lord says: Do not learn the way of the nations or be terrified by signs in the heavens, although the nations are terrified by them, for the customs of the peoples are worthless.Someone cuts down a tree from the forest; it is worked by the hands of a craftsman with a chisel. He decorates it with silver and gold. It is fastened with hammer and nails, so it won’t totter. Like scarecrows in a cucumber patch, their idols cannot speak.They must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them for they can do no harm—and they cannot do any good. Lord, there is no one like you.You are great; your name is great in power.
Their idols are silver and gold, made by human hands. They have mouths but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see. They have ears but cannot hear, noses, but cannot smell. They have hands but cannot feel, feet, but cannot walk. They cannot make a sound with their throats. Those who make them are just like them, as are all who trust in them.
Those who cherish worthless idols abandon their faithful love, but as for me, I will sacrifice to you with a voice of thanksgiving. I will fulfill what I have vowed. Salvation belongs to the Lord.
What use is a carved idol after its craftsman carves it? It is only a cast image, a teacher of lies. For the one who crafts its shape trusts in it and makes worthless idols that cannot speak.
Isaiah 44:9, 20
All who make idols are nothing, and what they treasure benefits no one. Their witnesses do not see or know anything, so they will be put to shame... He feeds on ashes. His deceived mind has led him astray, and he cannot rescue himself, or say, “Isn’t there a lie in my right hand?”
Therefore, put to death what belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry.
The sorrows of those who take another god for themselves will multiply; I will not pour out their drink offerings of blood, and I will not speak their names with my lips.
1 Corinthians 10:14
So then, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.
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