Greetings Project Ezra! This week the suggested reading is only a partial chapter. We will be reading from Deuteronomy chapter 4, and specifically verses 15 through 40, which deal with the sin of idolatry. I got a chance to preach this passage early this week, last night at a local street fair. The response, when I started to speak of the God of the bible as the one true God, and pointing out that likely many of those listening were believing in false gods, was immediate and intense. These truths strike a nerve, since men know in their hearts that they are without excuse and are choosing to suppress the truth in unrighteousness. So be prepared for some strong responses.
In verse 15 Moses points out something interesting. God chose to reveal Himself and speak to the Israelites through a pillar of fire, and at least part of the reason appears to be to specifically stifle the people’s natural tendency toward idolatry. God spoke from the fire, and Moses said that since the Israelites saw no form, thus they should not create idols in the form of anything in creation, and thus act corruptly. Mankind will always try to pull God down toward our level, to try to reshape God to make Him something we can control and manipulate. If God seems to get smaller, man seems to get bigger and more powerful. This is the sin that we should focus on, not only because it is a horrendous sin in it’s own right, but because it gives birth to many other sins. A false god will allow us to do what we want.
So here is a suggested outline:
We are here to share the knowledge of the one true God
Not simply a God created in our minds to make us feel better, but God as He represents Himself
The Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end
Are you trusting in the one true God? Be careful what you are believing, because Isaiah 42:8 says He will not give His praise to another.
Read Deuteronomy 4:15 – 40
God appeared to Moses and Israel with no form, so do not form any image to worship
You may not have worshipped an image of wood or stone or precious metal, but the idols made by hands started as idols created in the human heart, and many of you are worshipping false gods you have created in your hearts
If you worship a god who ignores your sin and loves whatever you do, you are worshipping an idol
If you worship a god who is all love and grace and no holiness and justice, you are worshipping an idol.
Why are you worshipping an idol? Examine yourself in light of God’s law. A god of your own making will allow you to sin, or convince you that you can meet his standards by your own efforts, and reach heaven based on your own goodness. The truth is all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Go through the law
God is a jealous God, and will not be controlled by men. But he is also loving and gracious, and provided a way for our sin to be atoned for.
Preach grace and the cross
Preach repentance and faith
So examine yourself to see if you are in the faith (2 Corinthians 3:15)
Are you showing the fruit of repentance that demonstrates that you are in the faith?
Make your peace with the true God of creation. Psalm 2:12 says kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way. God is gracious, but there will be consequence for those who deny Him.
All roads do lead to God, for the word says in Romans 14:11 every knee will bow, and every tongue confess to God. On that day each one of us will stand in judgment and give an account of himself to God, so insure that when you do your account is paid in full. Repent and trust in Christ while He has given you time.
I hope this is helpful. Have a wonderful weekend in the Lord, and I pray that God will be glorified in you through the preaching of His word and through hearts being drawn to repentance and faith.
For the praise of His glory,