This study talks about Israel and idolatry in Deuteronomy. As Christians, we understand worshiping idols is a sin God will not tolerate.
But, Israel falls into this type of idol worship just before entering the promised land.
And, they will be treated more harshly than the pagans because the Hebrews already know the law.
As Christians, we understand the law too. Does this Old Testament reading apply to us as well?
Let’s look at the warning from God.
Israel and Idolatry In Deuteronomy 4:15-31 Moses Warns about the Worship of Idols
At this time Israel is ready to take possession of the promised land. But, God becomes concerned with their worship of idols.
He has already forbidden Moses to cross the Jordan because of sin. And, He warns of what can happen if idolatry persists.
But, there is a happy conclusion to these Bible verses which include a promise from God.
Read on ..
Israel about Idolatry – One God to Worship
“So watch yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire, so that you do not act corruptly and make a graven image for yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the sky, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water below the earth.
And beware not to lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.
But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be a people for His own possession, as today. – Deuteronomy 4:15-20 NASB
“They Should Know Better” than to Worship Idols!
In the verses above, God directs His statements to Israel. So, does this mean that the pagan nations are exempt from punishment?
Is Anyone Exempt?
No one is exempt from the judgment of God.
The reason Moses became so concerned about the Israelites is that they have heard the Word. These people were taught about the true living God over a long period of time.
So, they have no excuse they can use for worshiping idols.
God Knew Israel’s True Thoughts
He knew that idolatry reached farther than just having an object on the mantle. Also, it meant embracing the thoughts and lifestyle of the evil surrounding them.
Sin Separates Us from God – What Idols Do We Worship?
Just as Moses was kept out of the promised land because of sin, worshiping anything other than God is not acceptable to Him.
God wants us to search for Him, not some idol.
Some of the idols we worship include:
- or lust.
If we seek God through Christ, He will be there for us just as He was there for Israel.
This story reminds us that we can easily fall into that trap – especially during the good times when we don’t seem to need God’s help.
Scripture plainly tells when Israel – and we will cry out to God. Deuteronomy 4:29-30 says;
“But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.
When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you will return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice.” – NASB
I’m not sure about you, but I am more likely to ask God for help in the rough times.
Bumps in the road of life are a certainty. And, I surely want God on my side when they come, don’t you?
Love in Christ
To learn more about Christ’s’ gift to you, please take a moment to read this from John 3:16.