Thou shall have no other god’s before Me!
One of the most significant truths revealed to us in God’s Holy Word is the concept that men and women were created in the image of God, Gen. 1:26. Because men and women are born fatally flawed, sinners in need of the Savior, we think that God is made in the image of man. This fallacy can be clearly seen with regard to pagan idolatry where gods and goddesses reflect the nature and attributes, good or bad, of those who create and worship them. Do not make the mistake of thinking that idolatry is limited to this self-centered mindset where people create a pantheon of deities and make images of them for the expressed purpose of worshiping them.
In the section of the Psalms known as the Hallel (Psalms 115-118), we are told about the futility of pagan idolatry.
1 Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us,
But to Your name give glory,
Because of Your mercy,
Because of Your truth.
2 Why should the Gentiles say,
“So where is their God?”
3 But our God is in heaven;
He does whatever He pleases.
4 Their idols are silver and gold,
The work of men’s hands.
5 They have mouths, but they do not speak;
Eyes they have, but they do not see;
6 They have ears, but they do not hear;
Noses they have, but they do not smell;
7 They have hands, but they do not handle;
Feet they have, but they do not walk;
Nor do they mutter through their throat.
8 Those who make them are like them;
So is everyone who trusts in them, Ps. 115:1-8
It is of particular importance that we understand the influence idolatry has on those who worship false gods and goddesses. The result of pagan worship is that you will remain spiritually dead, devoid of any insight into your own sinful condition, incapable of understanding your true spiritual state and need of the Savior’s amazing grace (God’s Righteousness At Christ’s Expense-GRACE) in your life.
We are currently living in the 21st century. This ancient form of idolatry that is so accurately described in Psalm 115 was common in times past. Today we only see this in certain aboriginal cultures. The idolatry of the 21st century is much more sophisticated, but idolatry nonetheless. A good definition of idolatry is as follows. Modern forms of idolatry manifest when you put a person, place or thing in the place where God should be in your life. When you look to anyone or anything other than the Creator and Savior for your primary source of security (love) and significance (meaning and purpose), you are worshiping false gods. The god of escrow ($), the hero worship associated with celebrity are all examples of contemporary idolatry.
Those who believe the gospel and have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, Lev. 17:11; Is. 53:5-7; John 1:29, but we are not immune from this form of idolatry. It is our carnal nature that remains on tape in our heads even after the person we used to be has been crucified with Messiah, Ga. 2:20. It is this same carnal nature that remains susceptible to these modern forms of idolatry and seeks security (love) and significance (meaning and purpose) in people, places and things.
We have the treasure of the new creation in an earthen vessel, II Cor. 4:7. This is by design. God knows that the battle between the new creations we are in Messiah, II Cor. 5:17-21, and our funky flesh will cause us to depend on Him. We are now holy and blameless before Him in love, Eph. 1:4 and without condemnation, all because we are “in” Messiah Jesus, Rom. 8:1-2.
When we stop believing the truth of the gospel for ourselves, old tapes that are being generated by our carnal mind and it will begin repeating the lies of the world, the flesh (our own carnal minds) and the Devil. This is one of the reasons that the Lord God warned His ancient covenant people Israel concerning false gods.
6 ‘I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
7 ‘You shall have no other gods before Me, Ex. 20:2-3; Deut. 5:6-7.
This commandment concerning false gods has a dual meaning. First and foremost, it teaches God’s people that God is supreme; He alone is the one true and living God. All others are counterfeits intended to deceive people. The second meaning has to do with the placement of our false gods in our lives. The God of Abraham tells us ‘You shall have no other gods before Me, Ex. 20:2-3; Deut. 5:6-7.
In this sense, He is telling us that our false gods will come between us. Before Me implies that a false god will distort your understanding of reality. This is especially true with regard to our prayers.
You or Me
Do not be deceived. We do not wrestle against flesh and blood. Our enemy uses lies, distortions of the truth. He will even quote the Word of God accurately, Matt. 4:6, but always out of context, cleverly perverting the application of God’s truth, thereby turning it into a lie.
The enemy’s work of perverting the truth of God’s Word continues. He has been turning the truth of our Creator into a lie from the very beginning, Gen. 3:1. The One who spoke the universe into existence, the living Word of God, our Messiah and soon coming King has been replaced by the female deity of evolution, Mother Nature. This false god of naturalism has caused the vast majority of people to turn away from their Creator to embrace what the Apostle Paul wrote to his son in the faith, Timothy, “science falsely so called.
“O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called,” I Tim. 6:20 KJV
The staff of the Creation Studies Institute is standing firmly upon the clear teaching of the Scriptures. We cannot do this alone. We need the continued support of others of like precious faith. For this reason, we are asking our prayer partners to continue to beseech the Lord on our behalf and continue to aid us in the service of our Creator, Savior and soon coming King.
Submitted by Steven Rowitt, Th.M., Ph.D.