Idols are coming down all across the United States. But, that’s not the first time this has happened. In biblical Israel, when a ‘good’ king followed an evil king, one of the first things they did was tore down the idols that had been set up in the land, such as King Josiah…
2 Chronicles 34:1-7 (NKJV)
34 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. 2 And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.
3 For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David; and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the [a]high places, the wooden images, the carved images, and the molded images. 4 They broke down the altars of the Baals in his presence, and the incense altars which were above them he cut down; and the wooden images, the carved images, and the molded images he broke in pieces, and made dust of them and scattered it on the graves of those who had sacrificed to them. 5 He also burned the bones of the priests on their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. 6 And so he did in the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Simeon, as far as Naphtali and all around, with [b]axes. 7 When he had broken down the altars and the wooden images, had beaten the carved images into powder, and cut down all the incense altars throughout all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem.
Statues are usually set up to honor heroes of the past. To glorify the image of men and women who have left their mark on the world.
There’s only one problem with that…
GOD SAID DON’T MAKE GRAVEN IMAGES…PERIOD!
Exodus 20:4-5 (NKJV)
4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor [a]serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting[b] the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,
Notice that verse 4 says DON’T MAKE THEM, then verse 5 says don’t worship them.
God said this because He knows His people.
He knows that what was initially done to show RESPECT can morph into REVERENCE. He knows the level of devotion that people feel for some of these statues turns into a form of worship, especially when other people don’t feel the same way about them.
Think about it. How many statues did Israel set up of God? How many statues were set up of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David? NONE!
The fact is, the statues of Yeshua (Jesus) or even ‘saints’ that have been cast should have never been created. God forbade it.
I saw this foolish image on social media not too long ago…
Remember in the Book of Acts when the establishment was pissed off because the disciples were threatening their traditions, just as Yeshua did? A well-respected Pharisee spoke up and told the Jews that even though they didn’t like what was going on, or how it was being done, if it’s God’s will…fighting against it was fighting God!
Acts 5:34-39 (NKJV)
34 Then one in the council stood up, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in respect by all the people, and commanded them to put the apostles outside for a little while. 35 And he said to them: “Men of Israel, [a]take heed to yourselves what you intend to do regarding these men. 36 For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody. A number of men, about four hundred, [b]joined him. He was slain, and all who obeyed him were scattered and came to nothing. 37 After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census, and drew away many people after him. He also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed. 38 And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; 39 but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God.”
So, even if you don’t like what’s going on, or the way it’s being done…if it’s from God, do you want to be guilty of fighting God?
If someone reads this and their mind immediately tries to justify graven images in spite of what it says in His word, well they are trying to make God submit to their will, rather than submitting to His.
Oh, and let me address the most common rebuttal. For those who say the statues aren’t associated with a pagan god…they don’t have to do so to be an idol. It’s the place, priority and reverence we give them in our hearts that makes them idols. Even Colossians 3:15 proves that by saying “Covetousness is idolatry.” Verse 4 just forbids making them of stone. This is why Israel never had statues of anyone in the Bible. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Christians must stop doing what they want to do, and then justifying it.
Even Colossians 3:15 teaches us that covetousness IS IDOLATRY.