The Dangers Of Idolatry

June 16, 2022

When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.” – Exodus 32:1

As you read the 32nd chapter of Exodus, you’ll see that the people of Israel had been treating God like a heavenly bellhop, expecting Him to be at their every beck and call and give them everything they wanted when they wanted it. When Moses had lingered on that mountaintop meeting with God, they decide they would just take matters into their own hands. They would make a god more to their liking.

The truth is, we all have “idol hands” that tend to either make the God we worship the God we want or make the god that we want the god that we worship. We’re going to learn over the next couple of days that if you are for God, you won’t put anything before God.

You may not think that you have an idolatry problem. You may not even understand why we even have to discuss this issue, but when we see how we do choose false idols and what happens when we do, my prayer is it will cause all of us to give our total loyalty, complete love, and full life to the only true God there is.

The first thing we need to understand about idolatry is that idolatry moves us to deny the true God. (We’ll discuss two more aspects of idolatry tomorrow.) The Israelites committed the sin of idolatry by denying the true God for what they wanted or liked better in the moment. 

Think about who committed this sin: the nation of Israel, the chosen people of God, the people He had delivered from the bondage that was destroying them. Think about when and where this sin was committed – at Mt. Sinai where they were about to receive God’s law, to meet with God and see God’s glory. This idolatry they were committing was such a great sin because of what they had already seen and heard and experienced from this one God.

They had already seen God deliver them from Egypt in the Passover. They had seen God part the Red Sea. They had seen God give them food and water. They had seen God lead them day after day with not even a scratch on them. 

It is from this story in Scripture we learn that miracles and signs and wonders do not guarantee either faith or faithfulness to God. We have all heard somebody say, “If God wants me to believe in Him, let Him do a miracle. Let Him work a wonder. Let Him show Himself to me.” There has never been a time in the history of the world where anybody had seen more miracles in a greater way, in a shorter period of time than the Israelites did, and they still turned against Him. That is what idolatry does. It moves us to deny the true God. May we be careful not to make the same mistake.

Dear God, idolatry is such a tempting sin. Often I don’t even realize I’m wrapped up in it. I pray that you would help me to keep my eyes on you and to always remember that you are the one true God. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Topics: Idolatry

Bible Reference

When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”