Title: Idolatry And Christianity_2
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Below is the concluding part of this article. The first part can be downloaded from the following site address: www.crossandcrownchristianministry.org.
In the first part of this article, attempt was made to define idolatry generally and also discuss as much as possible how God wants the Christian to see the act of idolatry. We continue in this second part to discuss the reaction of the Almighty God to the act of idolatry which we said the Lord does not tolerate and will either move to prevent or punish. In the guiding scripture which is the third, fourth and fifth verses of the twentieth chapter of the book of Exodus, Jehovah described Himself as a jealous God who stretches the punishment for iniquity from the first to the third and probably fourth generation. By this the Almighty God regards the act of idolatry as iniquity which He will definitely punish, just as He regards avoidance of idolatry as a display of love for Him and His compensation for all those who avoid being involved with idolatry potentially stretches to a thousand generations.
It should therefore not surprise anyone when he promptly displayed his anger with the first recorded act of idolatry in the Bible. Moses was probably still receiving these instructions from the Lord when the Israelites who had just experienced the greatness of the Lord, by being delivered from the oppressive actions of Pharaoh and witnessing the splitting of the Red Sea into two, decided to deprive Jehovah of that deserved glory. As far as they were concerned, the supposed delay of Moses in returning from his journey to Mount Sinai was sufficient reason for them to ask Aaron for another god to be created for them, who they intend to recognize as the one that performed the great deliverance act that they just benefitted from. The Lord also did not waste time reacting to this act of disloyalty as He immediately directed Moses to go and attend to their mis-behaviour – Ex. 32:1-14. As far as it can be seen, the reason of delay was just an excuse as there was no mention of Moses giving them a time frame for his return. They probably avoided the full wrath of God because they had yet to receive these set of instructions when they put up this act of idolatry, as god listened to the plea of Moses not to destroy and replace them, but promised to punish them for their iniquity when the time is right – Ex. 32:30-35.
He was however not that lenient with King Solomon and King Jeroboam I. He had decided to punish King Solomon for allowing his many wives to lead him to worship their gods which were different from Jehovah by tearing away ten out of the twelve tribes from the control of the lineage of King David but decided again to suspend the implementation of that decision, just as he did in the case with the Israelites at Mount Sinai, until King Solomon finishes his tenure in deference to David whom He rated as very faithful to Him – 1Kgs. 11:1-13. Nothing therefore could have saved King Rehoboam from misbehaving as it seemed Lord was determined to implement his decision, so he gave an edge to Jeroboam, who at that time was one of the palace officials, to successfully lead a rebellion and eventually ended up becoming king (1Kgs. 11:26-12:24) but again, due to fear, he did not just practice idolatry, but led the entire Israel aside from Judah and Levi into idolatry – 1Kgs. 12:25-33. This act became the benchmark for subsequent kings of Israel when their sins were being rated and there was none that was found worse than Jeroboam I, aside from King Ahab who added the shedding of innocent blood to his own act of idolatry – 1Kgs. 16:29-33. The fact remains that when it comes to the sin of idolatry, no one, irrespective of his/her social status is ever spared by the Lord. There may be cases of people who committed adultery and similar acts of transgression, and were forgiven but there is a huge doubt if there was ever any case of someone who committed the sin of idolatry and received forgiveness, even after the coming, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul revealed how the anger of Jehovah came on mankind because they behaved like those who did not have a god – Rom. 1:18-32.
He described the act of idolatry by men as wickedness against Jehovah adding that, despite the fact that His greatness, eternal power and divine nature has been known to them and their fore-fathers from the beginning of the world, they still chose not to acknowledge and thank Him by worshipping Him, but instead, they exchanged the glory of this immortal God for images of things in the heavens and on earth that they made with their hands – Rom. 1:18-23, 25, 32.
The result of such acts of wickedness, the Apostle says, is the decision of the Almighty God to push them further into sin by making them commit the following atrocities:
1. The Almighty God gave such idolaters to acts of sexual impurity and shameful lusts – Rom. 1:24; 26-27. No wonder the world is witnessing today a strong advocacy for shameful acts that used to be done in secret, to be legalised even amongst the clergy.
2. The Almighty God gave idolaters over to a depraved mind to do what ought not to be done – Rom. 1:28. The implication of this is a generation that revels in acts of wickedness, evil, greed, depravity, envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice, gossiping, slandering, insolence, arrogance, boasting and inventing evil. They are equally haters of the Almighty God and show no respect for parents as they become faithless, heartless and ruthless in their senselessness – Rom. 1:29-31.
No doubt the reason why the world is the way it is today can be attributed to acts of idolatry against the creator of the world. So much confusion with different people proffering different solutions none of which attempts to restrain the people from acts of idolatry and return them to the worshipping of Jehovah God. It may sound extremist but the latter remains the only route out of the present confusion in the world today.
While the whole world is sorting the confusion that they have put themselves into, the Christian can still live an organised life by ensuring that he/she avoids every act of idolatry. That way he/she can be assured of not just peace in this world but in the world to come.
This is the concluding part of this article. Both parts of the article can be downloaded from our website: www.crossandcrownchristianministry.org.
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