Exodus 20:4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or the waters below.”
Psalm 81:8-10 “Hear me, my people, and I will warn you – if you would only listen to me, Israel! You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not worship any god other than me. I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.”
This Psalm is speaking to God’s people (“my people”). So often we look at the culture around us in our own society and we very easily blame the liberals, progressives, communism, statism, or any other ‘ism.’ But, if I understand Scripture properly, the fault lies with God’s people. Here in Psalm 81 God is not talking about the heathen, or the unsaved, but He is talking about His own people; those that know Him and claim to love Him.
This is what 2 Chronicles 7:14 is talking about: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
It is obvious that the burden in seeing something done in our culture and society lies with God’s people. In this Psalm 81 we read the words “hear,” “listen,” “follow,” etc. What would be the result of hearing, listening and following God and His Word? He will forgive us our sins and He will heal the land. We will subdue our enemies. He will meet our every need.
Habakkuk 2:18: “What profit is the idol when its maker has carved it, or an image, a teacher of falsehood? For its maker trusts in his own handiwork when he fashions speechless idols.”
Of course modern man in the Western world would not think of making a golden calf, setting it up in a special room in the house and then bowing down to it. However, what we have today are what we call the humanists. They trust in their own handiwork, create their own laws, think up their own value systems, form and worship their own governmental and educational systems – trusting in them to be that which is right and true for everyone. However, they will soon find out that if it is not based upon God’s truth it will eventually lead to ruin. This type of idol-worship produces bondage and not liberty.
We must learn to worship God on His terms and not ours; for worshiping God on our own terms also means death to our society. Religion, or rather, a right belief in God, is the life-blood of a society. Idolatry for Israel was a capital offense because it was treason against God and would produce the destruction of the nation.
The first commandment tells us that there is only One God and we are to worship Him. This also tells us that there is only one law and that is God’s law. Having other gods (idols) means we also have and follow other laws that are contrary to God’s law.
The one thing that we are confronted with constantly especially here in our western world is what is known as toleration. Today in our Western society we have an evolving value called “tolerance,” but that is a little different than what we are looking at here. The tolerance that our society is trying to get across is tolerance about life-styles and thinking that are in direct conflict with God and His Word.
God is tolerant towards us, but that which is not in accord with His Word He will judge as evil, and so must we. We cannot be taken in by our society that tells us that we should be tolerant (by their definition) and not make any judgments.
We must keep in mind that the law of God is intended to judge us and preserve God’s order; to protect God’s people. This is true of the law of God’s creation and the revealed law given to Israel by God. Toleration of other laws contrary to biblical law is a form of idolatry that eventually leads to destruction, and any society that tolerates ideas and laws of wickedness will fall into confusion and anarchy.
We must realize that we are in spiritual warfare and biblical law (God’s Law) will always be at war against all other laws that are contrary to God’s law. We have just seen this in the USA with recent removal of the Ten Commandments in the middle of the night from the State Capital in Oklahoma. The same will happen in the other state capitals as well, if God’s people just tolerate it.