Exodus 20:3-5

 October 3, 2004
Andres C. Guevara Jr.


The definition of idolatry, according to Webster, is "the worship of idols or excessive devotion to, or reverence for some person or thing." An idol is anything that replaces the one, true God. The most prevalent form of idolatry in Bible times was the worship of images that were thought to embody the various pagan deities.

During 375 A.D. the worshipping of graven images of idols becomes the dogma doctrine of Roman Catholicism. Even in Old Testament records the making, bowing down, serving and worshipping are being practiced by the pagan and heathen nations who are enemy of the nation Israel. That wicked religious rituals and practices influenced the Jewish people that stir up the wrath of God and punished the beloved nation of Israel that they may now repent, return and reconciled to the living God. Praise God the Bible is so plain, definite, and direct to the doctrinal teaching against worshipping idols of the graven images.


Idols are impotent blocks of stone or wood, and their power exists only in the minds of the worshipers.

A. God shows that idols are not real.

                    1. The idol of the god Dagon was twice knocked to the floor by God to show the Philistines just who was God and who wasn't- 1 Samuel 5:1-5

                    2. The "contest" between God and His prophet Elijah and the 450 prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel is a dramatic example of the power of the true God and the impotence of false gods- 1 Kings 18:19-40

                    3. When Moses delayed from going down from the mountain the people make their own alternative god out of their material things -Exodus 32:1-35

        4. Every nation has different idols but the real God made the heavens -Psalm 96:5; 1 Chronicles 16:26

           B. Idols are nothing

                    1. In Psalms 115:2-8 describes the disabled idols that can do nothing: speak nothing, hear nothing, smell nothing, see nothing, neither walk and handle anything. It is like a god who THINKS NOTHING.

                    2. In Acts 17: 25, 29 idols are disabled man made god that needed anything instead of a provider.

        3. Idols can't do evil and good so don't fear them -Jeremiah 10:2-5

        4. People profited nothing and they gathered were ashamed together -Isaiah 44:9-11

        5. Don't carry the idols upon the shoulder neither cry unto it for idols can't answer or help people to get out of trouble -Isaiah 46:6-10

           C. Idols are created by man's hand.

                    1. In Psalms 115:4 it is very clear that idols are made with man's hands. Therefore we are not only referring to those pagans worships of animals, birds, creeping things, and rocks and mountains but to those images made of wood, clay, cement, papers, chalk, and etc. that had been created by man's hand.

         Illustration: In Daniel 3, it is the man king Nebuchadnezzar:

                         a. Who made the image of gold- v. 1

                         b. Who set up the image that people may worship - v.2, 3, 5, 7, 12, 14

                         c. Who made a decree that every man should worship the image -v. 10

                    2. In Acts 17:24-25 God does not dwells in the temple made with man's hand.  

             That is why we can't find and should not have idols inside the house of the Lord God -2 Chronicles 24:18


A. Idol image is Satan's dwelling place- I Corinthians 10:19-20; Deuteronomy 32:17
Illustration: Satan's desire to be worshipped as god. - Matthew 4:9: Isaiah 14:12-15

B. Idol image is Satanic False worship
                     1. Worshipping idols made by man's hands is worshipping Satan -Revelations 9:20-21

                     2. Religious people worship the altar of the god they don't know -Acts 17:22-31

C. Idol image is changing the glory and truth of God.

                     1. It all started when people don't glorify God neither were thankful -Romans 1:21

                     2. Then the people changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man and corruptible creatures - Romans 1:23, but the Lord said He will not give His glory to another, neither His praise to graven images -Isaiah 42:8

                     3. People changed the truth of God into a lie by worshipping and serving the creature more than the Creator - Romans 1:25 (Idol maker are teacher of lies - Habakkuk 2:19-20)

                4. People changed the natural use of a woman and natural use of a man and become more evil in society - Romans 1:26-31
           D. Idol image makes people blinded by Satan
                     1. As the god of this world is blinded the mind of the unbeliever. -II Corinthians 4:4, the

unbelievers are carried away and led to become fanatics of idols -1 Corinthians 12:2

                     2. People blindly walk, served and worshipped idols as their father do -2 Kings 21:21

         3. Idols can't see nor can't hear and those people who made and trusted in them are like the idols that were blinded of the truth. - Psalms 115:8; Isaiah 44:12-20

E. Idol makes us sin -2 Kings 21:11


           A. Will be cast into the lake of fire - Revelations 21:8; Revelations 20:14
           B. Will not inherit the kingdom of God - I Corinthians 6:9-10



            A. Worship of man's image is forbidden

         1. From the beginning, God's covenant with Israel was based on exclusive worship of Him alone (Exodus 20:3; Deuteronomy 5:7). The Israelites were not even to mention the names of false gods (Exodus 23:13) because to do so would acknowledge their existence and give credence to their power and influence over the people. Israel was forbidden to intermarry with other cultures who embraced false gods, because God knew this would lead to compromise. The book of Hosea uses the imagery of adultery to describe Israel's continual chasing after other gods, like an unfaithful wife chases after other men. The history of Israel is a sad chronicle of idol worship, punishment, restoration and forgiveness, followed by a return to idolatry. The books of 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, and 1 & 2 Chronicles reveal this destructive pattern. The Old Testament prophets endlessly prophesied dire consequences for Israel if they continued in their idolatry. Mostly, they were ignored until it was too late and God’s wrath against idol-worship was poured out on the nation.

        2. Peter never allow Cornelius to fell down and worship him.- Acts 10:25-26

        3. Angel rebuked Apostle John for worshipping him and instruct the Apostle that only God need to be worship and not to any servant of God.- Revelations 22:8-9

        4. The testimony of Scripture is that God alone is worthy of worship. Idol worship robs God of the glory that is rightfully His, and that is something He will not tolerate- Isaiah 42:8

        5. Don't worship the works of man's hand -Jeremiah 1:16

B. Do not have other gods before God - Exodus 20:3

        1. It is not advisable to talk and worship the true God having facing the graven image in your front—Isaiah 44:6-20

        2. God should not be compared to idols—Isaiah 46:1
            C. Do not make any graven images- Exodus 20:4; Leviticus 26:1

        1. If there is no making there will be no buying, no displaying, no praying to, no offering to or parading with these idols.

D. Do not bow down and serve any graven images - Exodus 20:5
                    1. Remember that God is a jealous God -Exodus 20:5; Isaiah 42:8

        2. The Lord says don't serve idols -2 Kings 17:12

        3. Bowing down and serving to the graven images means trusting them and hating the only true God.

E. Overthrow and breakdown the graven images - Exodus 23: 24-25; Leviticus 26:30

        1. In the Old Testament, when the Israelites conquered a heathen city or country, they were not to adopt the idols of these people into their religion. Such were to be destroyed, even though they might be covered with silver and gold - Deuteronomy 7:25

        2. The Israelites were to destroy all the pictures of the pagan gods - Numbers 33:52

F. Keep away from idols- I John 5:21; 1 Corinthians 10:14

        1. Paul testified that the Thessalonians are the evidence of people who turned away from idols and who are now serving the true and living God - I Thessalonians 1:9

        2. We need to Repent and turn from idols -Ezekiel 14:6

        3. Don't be idolaters--1 Corinthians 10:7


Idolatry extends beyond the worship of idols and images and false gods. Our modern idols are many and varied. Even for those who do not bow physically before a statue, idolatry is a matter of the heart--pride, self-centeredness, greed, gluttony, a love for possessions and ultimately rebellion against God. Is it any wonder that God hates it?

There are idols from the heart--Ezekiel 14:1-9


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