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For, replacing or substituting God with something else is the essence of idolatry. Now, as I said a couple of weeks ago, the first four commandments are God-ward.

1. First of all it steals our freedom.

They have to do with our relationship with our Heavenly Father. And I want you to note that the first two of these God-ward laws lock together like matching pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Commandment number one tells us Who God is…. This second law insists that the object of our worship must never be something of our own construction or something that is under our control. We must never make these things the focus of our day to day existence. Only God is to have that place in our lives. Obviously we are more powerful and wise than anything we make on our own…we can control the works of our hands.

We can make many amazing things these days, but none of them are deserving of our worship. And another thing we should understand as we study this 2nd commandment is that the impulse to worship is universal. Anywhere you go on this planet…. This is a God-given inclination. There is a God-consciousness in the heart of every human being. And when people take this natural inclination to worship and instead of directing it in its proper direction…. As you know, the people of Israel continually displayed this tendency in Old Testament times. In fact at the very moment that Moses was on the mountain with God receiving His ten der laws, these people were making an idol…a golden calf…and Exodus Following the idolatrous practices of neighboring nations, Jeroboam set up golden calves in Dan and also in Beersheba.

Even the brazen serpent that God provided in the wilderness to deliver the people from snake bites was later made into a graven object of worship by the Israelites. Only when the people of Israel were carried into captivity were they finally cured of this problem of idolatry.

Then the New Testament records that Christians spreading the good news of the gospel encountered the practice of idolatry.

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From his perspective, there must have been an idol of some kind on every block-they were as regular as fire hydrants. And of course idolatry continues in our world even to this day…. As a matter of fact, this tribe worships President Lyndon Johnson because he had big ears. Ulrich Ritterfeldt of the University of Utrecht in Holland, the people of this tribe have a photo of President Johnson pulling on the big ears of his beagles. This photo is hung in a cave and flowers are offered to it. Now we in the United States hear stories like this and we think that, since idolatry is all about worshiping weird things — like big ears and golden calves….

But the reality is that idolatry in our culture is very widespread. Its here alright but it is much more subtle. No,here they fill the very airwaves! The images and their deceptive offers go across the nation by satellite, cable, Internet, and slick four-color printing. In our country we are surrounded by more false images than ever before in the history of mankind. They leer at us from billboards and magazine covers.

They call to us in powerful visual impressions on televison. They want to capture our attention…. Now, there is nothing wrong with money or a new car or wanting to wear attractive clothes or wanting to succeed in business. Surrounding the borders of this picture were four familiar lines from well-known commercials: We make books on the subject of selfishness bestsellers by purchasing them by the millions.

I agree with Dr. We worship happiness and self-esteem at all costs…. We worship how we look…. In fact it is often not until the first heart attack that men realize that they work to live not live to work. You see, whenever anything other than God becomes the absolute focus of our attentions and activities, that is idolatry. Now before we go any further…. Why would idolatry be such a big deal to Him? You know more than 50 of the laws in the first five books of the Bible are directed against idolatry. And in all Judaism it is one of only four sins to which the death penalty is attached.

Why did God think this law was necessary? Well,I think one reason He did was because God knew how easy it would be for us to slip into idolatrous acts. God is unseen…a spirit and a power invisible to the eyes of men. We prefer to have something we can see, and touch…something we can relate to. On the way down he grabbed a branch, which temporarily stopped his fall. He looked down and to his horror saw that the canyon fell straight down for more than a thousand feet.

Is there anyone up there? He was about to give up when he heard a voice. So we have this tendency to worship things we can see and feel. And God of course knows that we are like this…. He knew that this would be a very real temptation for us so He gave us this law. But you know, I think He also gave this law to protect us. Remember when we began our study of these ten der commandments, we noted that God gave us these ten laws to lovingly provide His best for us but also to protect us from harm. And disobeying this particular law can indeed cause us great harm…. When we put anyone or anything other than God in charge of our lives we become slaves to that thing or person.

I want to share a truth here that may be hard for you to believe…. We were created to be controlled…. We were designed to exist in relationship to GOD. We are programed to be controlled or mastered. The only freedom we really have is to choose what controls us. Have you ever noticed how much freedom is lost in the name of freedom? You see a god is basically something you surrender your life to.

Freedom comes from choosing the best master and we are designed to function best…. Resist that and we destroy ourselves.

Accept No Substitutes — Meadow Spring Church

Accept it and we find freedom. He must be number one. When He is not…. And, you know…like all dictators, idols promise everything and give nothing in return. They take and never give back. They use us up, drain us dry, and then discard us. Idols are false fronts like you see on movie sets…they look good on the outside but there is nothing behind them to back up their promises of freedom and joy.

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Please try again later. Audio CD Verified Purchase. One person found this helpful. I have liked Accept since the mid 80's and I am glad they did put this cd together of there better tracks.