Ezekiel 14:1-8 – Then certain of the elders of Israel came to me and sat before me. And the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, these men have taken their idols into their hearts, and set the stumbling block of their iniquity before their faces. Should I indeed let myself be consulted by them? Therefore speak to them and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Any one of the house of Israel who takes his idols into his heart and sets the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and yet comes to the prophet, I the Lord will answer him as he comes with the multitude of his idols, that I may lay hold of the hearts of the house of Israel, who are all estranged from me through their idols. “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: Repent and turn away from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations. For any one of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel, who separates himself from me, taking his idols into his heart and putting the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and yet comes to a prophet to consult me through him, I the Lord will answer him myself. And I will set my face against that man; I will make him a sign and a byword and cut him off from the midst of my people, and you shall know that I am the Lord.
Romans 1:25 – …because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
What constitutes a counterfeit god or object of worship? Martin Luther says, “whatever your heart clings to and relies upon, that is your God.”
While idolatry manifests externally, it originates internally. As Christians we commonly ask people if they have accepted Jesus in their hearts; the counterfeit is people who “have taken their idols into their hearts.”
God made us to worship Him by enjoying everyone and everything that He graciously provides for us. Satan wants us to love the gifts more than their Giver.
Because He sees behind the natural into the spiritual forces at work propping up entertainment, politics, sports, education, and various spiritualities and religions, God repeatedly connects idolatry with the demonic. Demonic powers will make the worship of idols profitable, pleasurable, and preferable to worshipping the real God. Pagan practices have never really been updated because they remain constant best sellers—sex, money, power, fame, beauty, comfort, and the like never go out of demand.
The jealousy of God is mentioned frequently in the Bible. Jealousy happens when someone is in our place. God loves us, and when we love someone or something instead of Him, He feels much like married people would feel if they came home to have dinner with their spouse and found the person their spouse is committing adultery with sitting in their seat at the family table.
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