Songs and Praise
   

 
 
 

Less 120 WARNINGS AGAINST IDOLATRY

 
Deuteronomy 4:14-31; Romans 1:18-25;

Lesson 120 Senior Lessons

MEMORY VERSE:  "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them" (Exodus 20:4, 5).

I Warnings Given

Moses was commanded by the Lord to teach the Children of Israel statutes and judgments, Deuteronomy 4:14; Exodus 21:1; Exodus 24:3  Moses exhorted them to beware of idolatry and not to make any likeness of anything in heaven or earth as an object of adoration, Deuteronomy 4:15-19; Isaiah 40:18; Exodus 20:4, 5 The Lord had brought them out of Egypt to be an inheritance unto Him, Deuteronomy 4:20; Exodus 19:5  Moses informed them that he must die in this land, the Lord being angry with him on their account, Deuteronomy 4:21, 22; a:26; Numbers 20:12 Another warning was given against idolatry, Deuteronomy 4:23, 24

II Judgment and Mercy

Moses predicted God's judgment and that they would be scattered among the heathen should they turn to idolatry, Deuteronomy 4:25-28; 30:18, 19; Leviticus 26:33; Nehemiah 1:8 Even then, God's mercy would be extended if they would seek Him with all their heart, Deuteronomy 4:29-31; 30:1-3; II Chronicles 15:4; Nehemiah 1:9; Isaiah 55:6, 7; Jeremiah 29:12, 13 God's wrath is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness, Romans 1:18; Acts 17:30; Colossians 3:5, 6

III Wisdom and Folly

The invisible things were clearly seen from the creation of the earth, Romans 1:19, 20; Psalm 19:1; John 1:9; Acts 14:17 When they knew God they glorified Him not as God, and their foolish hearts became darkened, Romans 1:21; Jeremiah 2:5; II Kings 17:15; Ephesians 4:17, 18 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools and served the creature more than the Creator, Romans 1:22-25; I John 5:20; Jeremiah 10:14

NOTES

The Lord commanded Moses to teach His statutes and judgments to the Children of Israel that they might do them in the land they were going to possess.


'Hearken' and 'do,' that you may 'live' and 'possess'! This is the universal and abiding principle. It was true for Israel, and it is true for us. The true secret of possession is simple obedience to the holy command¬ments of God. We see this all through the inspired Volume, from cover to cover. God has given us His Word that we may obey it. As we, through Grace, yield a hearty and happy obedience to His statutes and judgments, we tread the bright pathway of life, and enter into the reality of all that God has treasured up for us in Christ (John 14:21).

Idolatry

The first commandment the Lord gave them on Mount Sinai was, 'Thou shalt have no other gods before me' (Exodus 20:3). The nations around were idolatrous. Possibly the greatest and most common tempta-tion they would have to meet was idolatry. It was an abomination unto God and 'changed the truth of God into a lie.' It was an unprofitable practice, for Isaiah says, 'Yea, one shall cry unto him, yet can he not answer, nor save him out of his trouble' (Isaiah 46:7).


The prophets of Baal cried mightily unto their god on Mount Carmel when Elijah put the challenge to them, 'The God that answereth by fire, let him be God' (I Kings 18:24). They were sincere, and even jumped upon their sacrifice and cut themselves with lancets trying to get an answer from their god. Baal was a god that could neither see, hear, eat, nor smell.


The Lord made it very explicit that no graven image of any living creature on land, sea, air, or under the waters should be made and wor-shiped. And lest they lift their eyes to heaven and worship the sun, moon, and stars, He makes it plain to them that He alone is God.


Through the Prophet Isaiah God declares, 'Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any' (Isaiah 44:8).


It is said that the oldest species of idolatry is the worship of the heavenly bodies. Those who had not a knowledge of the true God con-sidered the planets were self-existent and the source of blessings to mankind.


Many of Israel's kings were idolaters. It is a singular fact that none of their idolatrous kings ever were good kings And it is also true that none of their good kings were idolaters.

Soon Perish

Moses calls Heaven and earth to witness that unless they were obedient to the instructions the Lcrd gave them they would soon perish from off the good land they were going over Jordan to possess. They also would be scattered among the nations.


In looking over the history of Israel we find they were prone to idolatry and were finally scattered among the nations. And it is said that not until they were taken captives to Babylon were they cured of idolatry.

The Loss of Faith

Idolatry robs the people's faith. At the time the Lord called Abram from the land of Ur of the Chaldees, the world was given over unto idolatry. But the Lord looked down into Abram's heart and saw there the precious seed of faith and He called him and his seed to be an inheritance unto Himself We wonder what would have happened if Israel had remained true to the faith of their father, Abraham. We see how God did protect those who remained true to the faith of their fathers. We think of the three Hebrew children who refused to bow down and worship Nebuchad-nezzar's golden image. In the king's rage they were thrown into the burning fiery furnace, but the Lord went in with them and the fire had no power to hurt them (Daniel 3).

Results of Idolatry

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul has given us a plain account of the results of idolatry. When people turn from worshiping a holy, right¬eous, and just God, and serve the creature more than the Creator, their minds become darkened, and sin of every form enters in.


A holy God commands the worship of a holy people. An image made after the similitude of a sinful creature has nothing in it to inspire its worshipers to a godly life. We find the basest of sins raging in idolatrous nations.


When Israel remained true to God, the Lord made them a wise and understanding nation. There was no nation able to withstand them.


We look at our own nation, the United States of America; it was founded by men seeking religious freedom. Its laws were based on the Word of God. Our forefathers honored God and inscribed on their money, 'IN GOD WE TRUST.' The Lord honors those who honor Him. Quickly this country became a great nation. No weapon formed against itprospered. But from across the waters, the same waters that bore the Mayflower with its crew of pilgrims safely across, came men with doctrines of higher criticism, evolution, atheism, marxism, bolshevism, and communism. We opened our doors; they entered our schools, our workshops, and even our pulpits. Today what have we? An idolatrous nation: one that serves the creature more than the Creator. We have a nation which honors the in¬ventive mind more than the God who created that mind. It is no longer 'What hath God wrought!' but 'What hath man devised!' As a result, sin of every description is in our nation. Fornication, adultery, divorce and remarriage, idolatry, murder, theft, juvenile delinquency — are all on the increase.


'And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant- breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them' (Romans 1:28-32).


What a woeful description! As God deals with nations, so does He deal with individuals. No one can turn from serving the true and living God but what he may expect the severest of judgments.

Mercy or Judgment

Although our God is a consuming fire, mercy is never wanting for a soul or a nation that will humble itself and plead for mercy. 'But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul . . . even in the latter days' (Deuteronomy 4:29, 30). What a promise to this world of ours today, if they would only seek Him!

Exclusion from Heaven

Idolatry in any form will exclude us from Heaven. 'For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God' (Ephesians 5:5). Heaven is a holy place, made by a holy God, for a holy people. How could anyone be admitted into God's holy Heaven who did not honor God as the Creator of all things and worship Him as the only true and living God. 'Thou shalt have no other gods before me,' is just as imperative today as when it was spoken from Mount Sinai.

QUESTIONS

1 Against what sin did Moses warn the Children of Israel?
2 Should the Children of Israel turn to idol worship, what would be their fate?
3 On what condition would God extend mercy to them?
4 In regard to worship, what was the condition of the nations around Israel?
5 Why was Moses not permitted to go into the Land of Canaan?
6 When people know God, what happens when they glorify Him not as God?
7 When people become vain in their imaginations, whom do they serve?
8 What does God say about the wisdom of this world?

 
   
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