“Thou shalt have no other gods before [M]e. (Exodus 20:3)
What do the following have in common? Self, other persons, celebrity, the human body, cell phones, cars, clothing, houses, ideas, careers, politics, politicians, and sin? These things, these concepts, these institutions can be deified. In other words, one can make a god out of anything. When one deifies anything it becomes an idol. When one treats anything as an idol, it is called idolatry. When one takes part in this, one becomes an idolater and is guilty of idolatry. One is guilty of having another god before the One True God…see above.
What would constitute something as a god? Obedience? worship? love? longing? trust? attention? and care? How about sacrifice? A god is something that is loved above other things, is obeyed, worshipped, longed for if separated, a god is trusted, and much attention is given to it.
In the Scriptures we find others gods being worshiped, obeyed, and sacrificed to. There is Molech, Baal, Dagon, Beelzebub, and (s)atan, and “another (j)esus” (We’ll speak to this another time). Molech was a furnace in the shape of a demon (what we would call, a demon) and the worshipers of Molech would sacrifice their offspring to this furnace god. Baal, it would seem, is a god that requires blood, as the worshipers of Baal, on Mt. Carmel, began to cut themselves, to get their god, Baal’s attention. Dagon was the god of the Philistines. The Philistines gave praise and worship to Dagon, when Samson was taken captive. This was just before God…the Almighty, gave Samson the strength to “bring down the house” in the most literal of terms. Beelzebub is another name for (s)atan. When translated, the name means, “king of dung.”
In our contemporary times these gods are not gods of consequence. However, there are gods among us. These gods take a different form than gods did in the past.
Evolutionists worship the god, education. Fornicators worship the god, sex. C.E.O.s worship the god, business. Many persons and peoples worship the god, smart phone. Those who put their political party above their “religion” worship the god, politics. Those who are self centered are worshipers of the god, self.
You see, many gods are among us.
We are not saying that any one with a car, house, phone, education, etc. are idolaters, of course not. However, if any of the above is loved, obeyed, sacrificed to, or longed for, to the excluding of God, you are an idolater.
Psalm 115:1-8; “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto [T]hy [N]ame give glory, for [T]hy mercy, and for [T]hy truths’s sake. Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? But our God is in [H]eavens: [H]e hath done whatsoever [H]e hath pleased. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths , but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: Noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not, neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them, so is everyone that trusteth in them.”
This Psalm is repeated in psalm 135. In Psalm 115, after this description of false gods is given, the Psalmist continues with the exhortation to trust in the Invisible God of Israel. The puny human mind, however, wants a god that can be seen and touched, so the heathen ask the the question, where is their God? and the Psalmist answers the question with Psalm 115. In Psalm 135, the Psalmist repeats himself, however, after giving the description of the false gods, instead of exhorting the people of God to trust in the invisible God of Israel, the Psalmist exhorts them to Bless the LORD. To bless the LORD is to give Him reason to be happy.
These gods of 115 & 135, are soulless and cannot be made happy, for they are non-living. These are trinket gods that one might put into one’s pocket or worn around one’s neck. Note what the end of Psalm 115:8 says, “They that make them are like unto them, so is everyone that trusteth in them.” A person, who trusts in theses little trinkets, or the larger gods of tribal worship, or any of the other idols, deified by men or women, are just like their god. They are spiritually dumb, spiritually blind, spiritually deaf, and spiritually lame. The material used in “making their god” is gold and silver. This speaks to the value of the false god.
Our God is not like this, is He? Our God is OMNIPOTENT, OMNIPRESENT, and OMNISCIENT. Our God does not require the death of our children, nor does He require our blood. Instead He gives life to us and our children, and He has given His Blood for His people and they that worship Him will become more and more like Him. Our God is invisible….that means…His enemies…. won’t …see… Him…… coming. Our God is unmovable, unshakable, and immutable. That means He cannot be swayed in His Character, He is never taken by surprise, and He is the Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever. Our God is Sovereign over all things, over everything, He knows all things, and He is Ever Present for His chosen and elect people, who have been re-made in His Image.
Someday soon this God will return, in the Person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and we will see Him, as He is, for we shall be like Him……GLORY…..GLORY….GLORY to GOD.