Idols or God

Idols or God?

Following through with the final days of Joshua, after he made his famous statement in the last section, the people of Israel once again made a covenant with God.

They swore to get rid of their idols – a covenant which they would later break, again!

The people of Israel seemed to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.

They went from worshiping the one true God to putting the idols first in their lives.

But, are we any different? Do Christians get caught up in the materialistic things and concepts of this world?

A word of caution: Before you answer these questions, read the Scripture passage below..

Bible Study Lesson — Joshua 24:16-27 Lesson Learned? The Covenant at Shechem – Idols or God?

As we learn from this Bible lesson, Israel constantly returns to their old ways – even after they’ve seen the great things God did for them in Egypt – and after they left.

Other Gods, or idols were a constant problem for a people who would swear to follow only God. But, as you probably already know, this would set a pattern for the future as we’ll discover in the Book of Judges. It’s coming in the next few weeks.

Making Decisions – The Foreign Gods (or Idols)

“Now therefore, put away the foreign gods which are in your midst, and incline your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.”

The people said to Joshua, “We will serve the Lord our God and we will obey His voice.”

So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made for them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem.

And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God; and he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak that was by the sanctuary of the Lord.

Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, this stone shall be for a witness against us, for it has heard all the words of the Lord which He spoke to us; thus it shall be for a witness against you, so that you do not deny your God.” – Joshua 24:23-27 NASB

The Fickle Israelites

All through the Old Testament, the people of Israel promised to follow and obey God. But sadly, they fell short each time.

Under Joshua, they did pretty well as he was faithful and a strong leader.

Now, once again they are making a covenant to follow God and put away the idols (or “foreign gods”) they worshiped in addition to the true living God.

To reiterate, read the commands God gave his people during the time of Moses in Exodus.

Ten Commandments – Number One

The first, and arguably the most important, of the commandments is about worshiping other gods.

To recap, the very first commandment of ten (Exodus 20:3-6) says …

3 “You shall have no other gods before me.

4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.

5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,

6 but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Read all ten commandments here.

Saying Vs. Doing

When we decide to follow God, do we really mean it – or is it just words?

Accepting Christ is easy. But, before you forget, becoming a disciple and living the Christian life is an entirely different matter.

Remember – People are Watching

One of my favorite speakers, Zig Ziglar once said:

“What you do speaks so loudly, I can’t hear a word you’re saying.”

Is how we act in accordance with what we proclaim as Christians?

As for Israel, did God just want a people to follow and worship Him so they would be His servants in their own little world?

No, God wanted to build a nation. He wanted a people who would influence the rest of the world by showing they served only one God.

What’s Next for Us? Getting Rid of Idols

Do we worship only God? Or, do we have other “idols” in our lives.

Okay, maybe we don’t sculpt golden calves, or worship relics of Caanan.

But, it could be ..

  • Our desire to become wealthy,
  • obsession with sports,
  • complete focus on work or career,
  • or even that new car.
  • add yours here.
idols or God

“But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Quite frankly, our idol can be whatever we focus on the most.

Now, I’m not saying that people shouldn’t have wealth or possessions.

Not at all.

But, when these possessions become the only focus of our attention, with God somewhere in the background, they become idols.

And remember, these idols can pull us away from things that really matter.

Think about it. And, pray about it.

Love in Christ

– Bob

Get started right now. If you would like to learn more about how to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to read John 3:16 here.

Filed under: Joshua