Reading

  • Deut. 5:5b-10
  • Ex. 22:20; 23:13
  • Lev. 19:4; 26:1
  • Deut. 16:21-22
  • Lev. 20:1-5
  • Deut. 14:1-2
  • Lev. 19:27-28
  • Deut. 12:29-31; 13:6-18; 17:2-7; 12:1-15, 17-22, 26-28

Devotional

Today's reading contains passages detailing laws GOD gave the Israelites regarding proper worship and avoiding the worship of idols. GOD was very specific about the position He was to have within the hearts of the Israelites:

‘I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.’
(Deut. 5:5b-7 NKJV)

The punishment for worshiping an idol was severe:

“He who sacrifices to any god, except to the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed.”
(Ex. 22:20 NKJV)

Although GOD doesn’t instruct us to kill those who worship idols today, He still expects to have first place in our hearts and for us to bow down and worship Him alone. Although most people today recognize that bowing down before a stick, or a totem pole, or a rock, or some other lifeless thing is stupid, there are other ways in which people commit idolatry against GOD.

For example, some people place a higher emphasis on earning money than on serving GOD. For others, it is sports. Still others it may be their possessions, popularity, fame, or success. If anything is placed equal to or higher than GOD in our hearts then that thing has become our god—our idol. GOD is displeased with us, just as He was with the wicked nations the Israelites drove out from Canaan, when we have idols in His place.

Tim Harris
Author: Tim Harris

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