There is no more important topic in the study of the heart than idolatry. Idols have more influence on the condition of the heart than any other thing in the world. The Bible is full of examples of people who set up idols in their hearts and the devastating consequences that followed, leading to the destruction of individuals, families, cities, and nations. The turning of the heart to an idol is the most tragic decision a person can ever make. Ever since the fall of Adam and Eve in Genesis and the introduction of sin into the human race, the heart has become an idol factory producing countless idols to love, worship and obey.
At the root of all sin is an idol that has consumed the heart and captured its affections. Idols enable sin to exercise control over our lives and enslave us in chains of bondage. There is no greater spiritual disease of the human heart than idolatry, and its death toll is infinitely larger than any cancer, black plague, or epidemic. Isaiah 24:5 states that the entire earth has been polluted by idolatry and a curse has devoured the world.
Every problem that has ever plagued the human race can be traced back to the sin of idolatry. Tertullian called idolatry “the principal crime of the human race.”[i] Idolatry devours people, cities, governments, and nations. Idolatry has infiltrated every generation, hanging over them like a dark cloud, wreaking havoc like a deadly plague. The virus of idolatry has infected the heart and seized control of its operating system in every age. Idolatry is the great destroyer of civilization.
Kyle Idleman in Gods at War: Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart says:
Idolatry is the number one issue in the Bible … Idolatry comes into every book … What if I told you that every sin you are struggling with, every discouragement you are dealing with, even the lack of purpose you’re living with are because of idolatry? … Idolatry isn’t just one of many sins; rather it’s the one great sin that all others come from. So if you start scratching at whatever struggle you’re dealing with, eventually you’ll find that underneath it is a false god. Until that god is dethroned, and the Lord God takes His rightful place, you will not have victory. Idolatry isn’t an issue; it is the issue. All roads lead to the dusty, overlooked concept of false gods. Deal with life on the glossy outer layers and you might never see it; scratch a little beneath the surface, and you will begin to see that it is always there, under some coat of paint. There are a hundred million different symptoms, but the issue is always idolatry.[ii]
The Bible is the life manual and instruction book on the ways of God, and its urgent warnings against idolatry should not be ignored. Idolatry is not some relic concept of ancient times, but is real and alive in every age. Idolatry dominates every culture on earth, and we find its endless gods everywhere. The prophet Jeremiah proclaimed: “Look now, people of Judah; you have as many gods as you have towns. You have as many altars of shame”—(Jeremiah 11:13, NLT).
The sad truth is that in America, our list of gods far exceeds the number of gods in Judah. Our altars of shame are countless, and of so many shapes, forms and categories, that it boggles the mind. We have pursued other gods with a fanatical obsession and have become a nation wholly given to idolatry. Surely God weeps over a world that has sold their souls to an endless list of worthless idols that have corrupted their relationship with Him.
Above all other things, idolatry breaks the heart of Almighty God for He created men and women in His own image and greatly desires fellowship, love, adoration, praise and worship from His precious creation. But idolatry ruined everything and caused a wall of separation between God and the human race as they gave their love to another. Idolatry is the human choice of substituting their Creator for a thing, image, person, or ideal. Idolatry is an act of treason against the God who gave us life. The sin of idolatry declares God is not good enough, not great enough, not glorious enough, not complete enough, and not all that He claims to be. It says that something else is more worthy to be loved and served.
The price to pay for idolatry is extremely high as it demands everything, and ultimately will destroy our lives. It chokes the life of God from our hearts and isolates them in spiritual darkness. This condition of the idolater’s heart is described in Isaiah 59:11: “we grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noon day as in the night: we are in desolate places as dead men.” The idolater has lost his eyes to see the magnificence of the God, lost his ears to hear the loving voice of the faithful God, lost his way to see the path of the righteous God, and lost his life to the service of a dead god that mocks his reason for existence. Idolatry causes the heart to wander away from God and always brings a man or woman to a place of desolation. All of life comes down to the choice between God and idolatry.
A.W. Tozer said in The Knowledge of the Holy that “the essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him.”[iii] Idolatry begins when we lose the sense of awe and wonder of God and relegate Him to a simple concept that gets lost in the thousands of other things that bombard our minds daily. God becomes mundane, unneeded, unimportant and bothersome in the schemes of our lives, and other things become more exciting and valuable to us. This is fertile ground for idolatry.
Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the Lord your God and have no awe of me,” declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty. (Jeremiah 2:19, NIV)
The birth of idolatry in the heart begins when we start to lose our reverence and love of Almighty God. We become blind to who He is. The true knowledge of His glorious nature shrinks from our hearts. We become vulnerable to the evil of idolatry because if we really knew God, we would see it as an act of complete foolishness and utter insanity to forsake Him for a worthless idol. Who in their right mind would give up God for an idol that cannot speak, hear, answer prayers, love and protect you? What idol can be compared to God? What idol is God’s equal? What idol has the power to save? What idol created the heavens and earth? What idol can purify my heart and deliver me from the clutches of sin, death and bondage? What idol can form my body from the dust of earth and breathe life into me? What idol can give me eternal life?
Then why are we bowing to idols? Why are we giving our hearts to idols? Why are we serving idols? Why are we cleaving to our idols instead of cleaving to God? Listen to what God has to say about the foolishness of idolatry.
“Listen to me, descendants of Jacob, all you who remain in Israel. I have cared for you since you were born. Yes, I carried you before you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime—until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you. “To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal? Some people pour out their silver and gold and hire a craftsman to make a god from it. Then they bow down and worship it! They carry it around on their shoulders, and when they set it down, it stays there. It can’t even move! And when someone prays to it, there is no answer. It can’t rescue anyone from trouble. “Do not forget this! Keep it in mind! Remember this, you guilty ones. Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me. (Isaiah 46:3-9, NLT)
God has no rivals. He alone is God, and nothing from the tiniest blade of grass on earth to the remotest star at the far reaches of the universe, can be compared to Him. He is the first and the last; He is the beginning and the end; He was, is and always will be. He is unchangeable in the beauty of His character, and the holiness of his nature. He is everything we could ever dream Him to be in all His perfection, and a billion times more! God’s wisdom is infinite, His understanding limitless, His love fathomless, His righteousness untouchable and His mercy boundless. He alone has the right to be worshipped, praised and loved above all else.
Frederick Faber said, “Only to sit and think of God, oh what a joy it is! To think the thought, to breathe the Name, Earth has no higher bliss!”[iv] Who would even dare to label themselves a god in His presence? Who would even dare to usurp His throne? Who would even dare to think that they are equal to God? Who would be crazy enough to compare an idol to God? God is infinitely greater and more powerful, and no idol is even worthy to bear the name “god.”
Idolatry: The Deception of the Heart
Then, why are our hearts constantly fashioning idols and worshipping them? Why has the idol factory of the heart not been closed down permanently and put out of business? Why do idols continue to capture the hearts of so many people around the world? How can we turn away from this glorious God and sell our soul to an idol? The Bible gives us the answer to this perplexing question.
Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; (Deuteronomy 11:16, KJV)
The reason why there are idols in the hearts of every race, people and nation on earth is because our great enemy, the Devil, has led the whole world astray (Revelation 12:8). All humanity has been seduced into the snare of idolatry. Idolatry is based upon deception. The heart must first be deceived before it will turn and worship another god. The Devil is the grand master of deception. He presents his colossal buffet of idols to the human race enticing their hearts to partake from his banquet table. They feed off this false bread and contaminated food instead of God’s bread of life. They begin to get their nourishment, their fuel for living, and their reason for existence from the idol they are consuming. They do not realize that the food is poisoned and designed to bring corruption into their hearts. The more the heart feeds at this banquet of idols, the more it cleaves to its idols as its source of life and motivation for living. Nothing else matters. Nothing else is more important. Nothing else is essential. The heart is now in a state of complete deception and has been blinded to the wonderful truths about God and His Word. The toxic poison of unbelief has seized the heart. God does not matter anymore. The truth does not matter anymore. The eyes of the heart are only focused on the idol and how it can be served.
The Hebrew word for “deceived” means to be wide open for enticement, spacious, and to make roomy. Derivatives of the Hebrew word mean a doorway, opening, and gate. Another derivative verb means to carve or engrave. To be deceived literally means to open wide the doorway of the heart and make it spacious and roomy for the idols to march in. This generation thinks there is some virtue in being open to all ideals and alternatives. “Accept everything and make room for it in our hearts” is the social cry of this age. Yet this is an invitation to let the Trojan Horse of idols into the inner sanctuary of the heart. Once inside these idols carve their name as special guests, they take ownership of the heart.
No one has the right to engrave their name in our hearts but God. God wants to write His commandments, His love poems, His words of encouragement and His cherished words in every part of our hearts. We must be diligent to keep the doorway of our heart closed to idols, whose deceptive words are designed to get us to doubt the greatness of our God. We must close and lock the gate of our heart and be attentive watchmen, so that when the idols come knocking we will not be duped into opening the gate and giving them the key. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warned us “Wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leads to destruction and many enter therein” (Matthew 7:13).
Deception begins by confusing the heart about the Most High God, defaming His name, and turning Him into something He is not, and then forgetting about Him altogether. Deception is built upon a lack of knowledge of God. Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” We do not trust God because we do not know Him. We have allowed religion to destroy the true image of God and corrupt our knowledge of Him. Our Heavenly Father becomes a distant relative we do not know, becoming strangers to His true nature. Our heart falls away from Him for we think something loves us more than God.
Awakening to the Knowledge of God
We stumble into the trap of deception because we have not allowed the Word of God to speak to our hearts about who God is and what God is like. We have failed to hear and believe the promises of God and His faithfulness. God never lies about who He is and what He will do. There is so little knowledge of God that lives in most churches today that the idols of this age are ravaging hearts with hardly any resistance. Our hearts need an awakening to who God is if we are ever to win this battle against idols usurping control of our hearts. We need a spiritual revival of the knowledge of God coming from every pulpit in our land, opening our eyes to God’s holy attributes.
Tozer said in The Knowledge of the Holy:
It is my opinion that the Christian conception of God in the twentieth century is so decadent as to be utterly beneath the dignity of the Most High God … The God of contemporary Christianity is only slightly superior to the gods of Greece and Rome … That our idea of God corresponds as nearly as possible to the true being of God is of immense importance to us … Low views of God destroy the gospel for all who hold them. Among the sins to which the human heart is prone, hardly any is more hateful to God than idolatry, for idolatry is at bottom a libel on His character. The idolatrous heart assumes God is other than He is-in itself a monstrous sin-and substitutes for the true God one made after its own likeness. Always this God will conform to the image of the one who created it … A god begotten in the shadows of a fallen heart will quite naturally be no true likeness of the true God … Wrong ideas about God are not only the fountain from which polluted waters of idolatry flow; they themselves are idolatrous. The idolatry simply imagines things about God and acts if they were true. Perverted notions about God soon rot the religion in which they appear … The low view of God entertained almost universally among us is the cause of a hundred lesser evils among us … It is impossible to keep our moral practices sound and our inward attitudes right while our idea of God is erroneous and inadequate … Enlighten our minds that we may know thee as thou art, so that we may perfectly love and worthily praise thee.[v]
The image of God that has risen from the shadows of our hearts falls far below the true representation of God in all His greatness and majesty. We make God too small and try to fit Him into the box of our religious beliefs. Then God becomes too little, too indifferent and too weak to motivate us to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Intimacy vanishes. We become dissatisfied with our religion and blame God for our emptiness. Out of a lack of knowledge of God’s true character, flows doubt, distrust and unbelief, as we search for a substitute that will excite our souls and fill our hearts. We want to find our golden calf and proclaim it as our newfound savior that brings happiness and meaning back into our lives. Our vision of the true God grows dim as our hearts are bombarded with thousands of ideas, images and words that defy the living God. Idolatry always is built on a defamation of God’s character
Art Katz in And They Crucified Him, Some Thoughts on the Cross says:
We all carry images of God that are not God as He is truly is. God will never force upon us that which is true as long as we are content with the imitation, the lesser thing. He waits for a cry of desperation from us–that he might answer with the True Light that only He can give by His Spirit.[vi]
God be Exalted!
We should never settle for an imitation of God in our hearts. We should never allow a counterfeit god to rule our hearts. We should never allow an artificial image of God to dominate our thinking. Every moment we draw breath upon this earth, the cry of our heart should be “God be exalted!” God’s covenant with His people demands a reverence His name and everything it represents (Malachi 2:5). God is crying out to the church, as He did in Malachi 1:6: “A son honors his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” When we fail to honor God and respect His Word, we open the door for idolatry to enter. When we have more respect and awe for something other than God, then our heart has fallen into idolatry.
A.W. Tozer in The Pursuit of God says:
The moment we make up our minds that we are going on with this determination to exalt God over all we step out of the world’s parade … Our break with the world will be the direct outcome of our changed relation with God. For the world of fallen men does not honor God. Millions call themselves by His Name, it is true and pay some token respect to Him, but a simple test will show how little He is really honored among them. Let the average man be put to the proof on the question who is above, and his true position will be exposed. Let him be forced into making a choice between God and money, between God and men, between God and personal ambition, God and self, God and human love, and God will take second place every time. Those other things will be exalted above. However the man may protest, the proof is in the choices he makes day after day throughout his life: “Be thou exalted” is the language of the victorious spiritual experience. It is the key to unlock great treasures of grace. It is central to the life of God in the soul … His honor will be proved by restoring again the stolen throne … Made as we were in the image of God we scarcely find it strange to take again God as our All. God was our original habitat and our hearts cannot but feel at home when they enter again that ancient and beautiful abode … The Place is His by every right in earth or heaven … While we take to ourselves the place that is His the whole course of our lives is out of joint. Nothing will or can restore order till our hearts make the great decision: God shall be exalted above.[vii]
For our hearts to be healthy, pure, and free from idols, its cry must always be: “Be Thou exalted O God above everything else!” We are no longer marching in the world’s parade of idols for we have chosen God as our first love. No idol will steal the throne of our heart! Perfect order, peace and joy are restored when the Almighty is exalted, praised and worshipped. Let your heart’s anthem be Psalm 97:9 “For you Lord are the Most High over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods!”
The Heart: The Battleground for Idolatry
The heart, by its nature, is always exalting something. A thousand idols are always clamoring for the affections of the heart so they can be crowned as king. Who is the king of your heart? What is being exalted above all else in your heart? Has an idol seized the throne and the position of exaltation? We must examine our hearts with prayerful consideration and humility and ask God to open our eyes to see what is exercising the kingship of our hearts. Who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords of your heart?
The Bible teaches that the heart is the battleground of idolatry. All idolatry originates in the heart. The heart in its deepest nature was wired by God to be a place of worship. The heart was designed to be the dwelling place of God with His holy presence filling every chamber. The heart craves to worship, adore and love. The heart was designed to cleave unto God and hold fast to Him in love. The heart was designed for fellowship and intimacy with God. The heart was to be the beautiful home of God decorated with His grace, mercy, love and peace. The heart was meant to be the holy of holies, the inner sanctum, and the blessed sanctuary where the glory of God would rest.
The heart was never meant to be a place for idols. It is the highest act of desecration to the temple of the heart to thrust God out of its inner sanctum and put an idol in His place. Then we direct all the heart’s natural cravings to worship, love and adore toward the idol instead of God. The devil plays with these natural tendencies of craving something to worship and turns them to objects of his making, thereby defiling the heart with the pollution of idolatry. Idolatry turns the dwelling place of God into a pagan temple.
Hosea 4:11 says that idolatry “takes away the heart.” It turns the heart away from God, who is love, and gives it to another lover. Idolatry is spiritual adultery for a Christian. He commits the ultimate act of betrayal against His covenant God and Heavenly Father by giving his love and devotion to another god. Idolatry is handing the key of our hearts to a false god. It is building an altar in our hearts and sacrificing our time, commitment and energy to this false god. The monumental question for every human being is what is being worshipped at the altar of our hearts? Who is receiving the songs of praise that sound out from the shrine of your heart?
The heart becomes what it worships. It always reflects the image of its god, like a person beholding his reflection in a mirror. The heart becomes a true likeness of the idol that it trusts and has fashioned to sit upon its throne: “Those who make them (idols) will be like them, and so will all who trust in them” (Psalm 105:8).
The Bible sets forth the urgent plea of God Almighty to tear down the altars of idolatry in our hearts, so we will worship, love and cleave to the Lord. God declares in Psalm 81:9 “There shall be no strange God in thee” (emphasis added). Idols are always internal before they are external. An idol must first capture the heart before it is worshipped outwardly. External practices of idolatry are simply evidence that the heart has sold out to its new god.
Ezekiel sets forth the truth that idolatry begins in the heart.
Some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat down in front of me. Then the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumblingblocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all? Therefore speak to them and tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When any of the Israelites set up idols in their hearts and put a wicked stumbling block before their faces and then go to a prophet, I the Lord will answer them myself in keeping with their great idolatry. I will do this to recapture the hearts of the people of Israel, who have all deserted me for their idols.’ “Therefore say to the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices! (Ezekiel 14:1-6, NIV)
The elders of Israel were older statesmen who should be full of godly wisdom for their nation. They were supposed to obey God and follow His commandments, setting an example for their people. Instead they rebelled against God and set up idols in their hearts. These men were in a position of authority, and made spiritual, social and community decisions that affected the entire nation. God showed Ezekiel by revelation the condition of their hearts. He told Ezekiel they had set up idols in their hearts. The Hebrew word for “set up” is alah and means to cause to ascend or climb, to exalt, and to go from a lower place to a higher place. This word implies that these idols had gained supreme ascendency over them, and had been exalted to the position of king of their hearts. These idols were assuming the position of the Most High God in the rulership of their hearts.
Alah is also used in Genesis 8:20 when Noah offered (alah) burnt offerings on the altar after the flood and in Genesis 22:2 when God commanded Abraham to offer (alah) Isaac as a burnt offering. It was used by Lucifer when he said, “I will ascend (alah) into heaven and I will ascend (alah) above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:13-14).
This is high treason against the God of Israel! He only deserved to be exalted as the true captain of their hearts! Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord by his faithful obedience to God’s Word. Abraham, the father of all us who believe, put God first in His life, trusting God’s promises above all else. But the elders in Ezekiel’s followed the way of Lucifer, the first idolater, and rebelled against God Almighty. As a result, they brought devastating consequences on themselves and their nation.
What is an Idol?
So what exactly is an idol? An idol is anything that is more valued, loved, sought after, desired and honored than God. An idol is worshipped in place of God and becomes the obsession, passion and craving of the heart above all else. Timothy Keller in, Counterfeit Gods, says:
What is an idol? It is anything more important to you than God. It is anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give. A counterfeit god is anything so central and essential to your life that, should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living. An idol has such a controlling position in your heart that you can spend most of your passion and energy, your emotional and financial resources, on it without a second thought. It can be family and children, or career and making money, or achievement and critical acclaim, or saving “face” and social standing. It can be romantic relationship; peer approval, competence and skill, secure and comfortable circumstances, your beauty or your brain, a great political or social cause, your morality or virtue, or even success in the Christian ministry … An idol is whatever you look at and say, in your heart of hearts, “If I have that, then I’ll feel my life has meaning, then I’ll know I have value, then I’ll feel significant and secure” … If anything becomes more fundamental than God to your happiness, meaning in life, and identity, then it is an idol.[viii]
Do you have an idol that has captured your heart? What are you most devoted to? What occupies almost all your time? What commands your attention? What do you think about constantly? What makes you happy above all other things? What gives your life value and meaning? What absorbs you on a daily basis and controls your life? What consumes you? What can you not live without? What drives you on a daily basis? These questions are a litmus test to determine what idols you may have in your heart. These are mountaintop questions meant to reveal what has climbed to the peak of your heart. Martin Luther said, “Whatever your heart clings to and relies upon is your God; trust and faith of the heart alone make both God and idol.”
At the root of all idolatry is a misplaced trust in a person, object, idea or image above God. We trust the idol to make us whole and give us value. We have faith in the idol to fulfill its promises. We believe the idol more than we believe God. We lean on our idol in times of trouble. The idol has captured the gaze of our eyes. The idol becomes the voice we listen to. The idol energizes us to action.
The heart cleaves to what it trusts. The heart follows and obeys the object of its faith. A heart that has sunk into idolatry has great trust and faith in its idols. The heart grabs its idols and holds them close not wanting to let go for they bring a false sense of security and comfort. The heart trusts that its idols will bring love, happiness, satisfaction and value to life, but tragically it never does. Fleeting moments of satisfaction soon replaced with misery, confusion, disillusionment and hopelessness. Idols are full of empty promises. Idols are full of shallow dreams. Idols hide the destruction that lurks behind them and the spiritual danger of giving them the heart’s allegiance. Idols shatter dreams and break hearts. Idols steal. Idols kill. Idols destroy. Idolatry always ends in disappointment. Idols mask the real consequences of bowing the knee to them and giving our faith to something other than God. We must examine our hearts constantly to see what we are really trusting in regarding all the issues of this life. Idolatry is the mark, badge and evidence that we have failed to follow God’s calling and love something more than God.
The Hebrew word translated “idols” in Ezekiel 14 is very interesting and sheds light on God’s opinion of idols. It is gilluwl and is used thirty-six times in the book of Ezekiel. It is a derisive term meaning logs, blocks, trunks, or clods which are shapeless things that were rolled out to worship. It is derived from the Hebrew word for dung, manure and human excrement, and literally means “dung pellets” The Word Biblical Commentary Ezekiel, Vol. 1 fitly describes this word:
The adoption of the word as a designation for “idol” may have been prompted by the natural pellet shape of sheep feces, or less likely, the cylindrical shape of human excrement. The name has nothing to do with the shape of the idols, but it expresses Ezekiel’s/Yhwh’s disposition toward them. Modern sensitivities prevent translators from rendering this expression as Ezekiel intended it to be heard, but had he been preaching today he probably would have identified these idols with a four letter word for excrement. A more caustic comment on idolatry can scarcely be imagined.[i]
Do you see a clear picture of God’s opinion of idolatry? Is there anything more offensive, worthless, disgusting, and repulsive than dung? God did not just compare idolatry with dung. He inspired Ezekiel by revelation to use this vile word to name it. All idols in God’s sight are mere dung and this visceral term was meant to be revolting and nauseating to the Hebrew people. Would we worship dung? Pray to dung? Love dung? Sacrifice to dung? Praise dung and devote our lives to dung? God’s message is clear that this is exactly what we are doing when we set up an idol in our hearts. God never wants us to forget the vile nature of idolatry and He has given us a vivid word picture to remember.
When you see the true picture idolatry, would you rather worship the Creator of the heavens and earth or dung? This does not seem like a hard choice. But the Devil is the master of deception, and he masquerades dung to look so wonderful and alluring. But when we take off our spiritual blinders and open our eyes, we will see an idol’s true composition. When we peel away all the glitter and subterfuge, all we are left with is dung. No matter how great the idol may seem, it is worthless excrement in God’s eyes. No better word could be used to describe the thousands of idols that have captured the hearts of so many.
Another Hebrew word for “idol” paints an even broader picture of God’s thoughts about idols. In the Old Testament the word is ‘eliyl’ which means worthless, of no value, and good for nothing. The equivalent Greek word used in the Septuagint means a foul odor, a stench, something loathsome, detestable and abominable. An idol has absolutely no value to our lives. It is worthless to accomplish one good thing. Idols cannot save, deliver, or bring peace, strength or lasting joy. Idols are like a foul stench arising from a pile of garbage.
How tragic that so many have given their hearts and dedicated their lives to something that is completely worthless! It is only when these poor souls face the gateway of eternity, and stand before God’s judgment seat, that their eyes will be opened to the utter worthlessness of their idols. They will see in anguish that these idols robbed them of eternal life and brought them the sentence of destruction. Oh that we might see like God sees when it comes to these detestable idols and understand that nothing of any worth ever arises from idolatry.
[i] Leslie C. Allen, Word Biblical Commentary: Ezekiel 1-19 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1994).
[i] Tertullian, On Idolatry (Whitefish: Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2004), 3.
[ii] Kyle Idleman, Gods at War: Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing, 2013), 22.
[iii] A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy: The Attributes of God: Their Meaning in the Christian Life (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1961), 3.
[iv] Frederick Faber, Hymn: My God How Wonderful Thou Art, 1849.
[v] A.W. Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy: The Attributes of God: Their Meaning in the Christian Life (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1961), 1-3.
[vi] Art Katz, And They Crucified Him, Some Thoughts on the Cross (Asheville: Burning Bush Press, 2011), Kindle Edition, 163, 164.
[vii] A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God (New York: Start Publishing LLC, 2012, originally published in 1948), 67.
[viii] Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 2010), 5.