Israel has a long history of worshipping the gods of other nations. For as long as they sought other gods, The LORD has warned them against it, taken action to discipline them, and hated it. God is a jealous God. He hates idolatry. He detests when His children put anything in front of Him. He is the One and Only God.
Idolatry is, in its simplest definition worship of or devotion to something other than Adonai. The first commandment God handed down to Moses said,
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
This is the only one commandment of the ten that came with a promise of punishment for those who broke it and a promise of reward for those who kept it. God takes our relationship with Him seriously and He wants the same fidelity returned.
The sixth chapter of Ezekiel speaks about Israel’s idolatry and what God would do to them because of it. Even the land showed signs of Israel’s idolatry. Verses 1-4 read,
“The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, set your face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them, 3 and say, You mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God! Thus says the Lord God to the mountains and the hills, to the ravines and the valleys: Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places. 4 Your altars shall become desolate, and your incense altars shall be broken, and I will cast down your slain before your idols.”
God destroyed the altars, the high places, and every place of worship for false gods. And since those gods didn’t exist except in the minds of the worshippers, they were annihilated. The people too were killed and strewed before the altars like sacrifices. Why would God do that? Because He loves His people and wants a pure relationship with His children. Verse 7 reads,
“And the slain shall fall in your midst, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
But not all the people would be destroyed. The Lord scattered remaining Israel among the nations. Verses 9-10 read,
“then those of you who escape will remember me among the nations where they are carried captive, how I have been broken over their whoring heart that has departed from me and over their eyes that go whoring after their idols. And they will be loathsome in their own sight for the evils that they have committed, for all their abominations. 10 And they shall know that I am the Lord. I have not said in vain that I would do this evil to them.”
God not only hates idolatry, but He wants us to hate it too. He wants us to be just as angered at the thought of something coming between Him and us as He is. He wants to be not only a priority but THE priority. We have so many excuses for letting things get in the way of our relationship with The Father, our jobs, our families, even our service. We have to make money and provide. We have to do this or that or will not get done. But God is God! He is All-Powerful, Wonderful, Awesome, and LORD. He promised us this in Matthew 6:31-34
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
If we seek God first, He’ll take care of the rest. God knows we need clothes and food. God knows we love our families. God knows we want security and shelter. Don’t we trust Him enough to be God?
God’s love for us is passionate. His love burns eternally and fervently. His anger is also passionate. He is slow to anger but He does get angry. One day His wrath will be shown so the whole world will know it. The Day of Judgment is coming. Do not be caught on that day with anyone or anything but Jesus Christ in the throne of your life.
Examine your heart and life. Is there something you are devoted to that takes precedence in your life? Is it your career, family, lifestyle, reputation, or ministry? Is it a sports team, celebrity, or hobby? Whatever it is, take it out of God’s throne before God decides it is time to let you know He is the LORD. Go ahead and trust Him to be God.