Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Church continued...

A Definition of Idolatry

“Do not love the world or anything in the world....For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes, and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.” I John 2:15

I'm sure it's been well articulated by many, but I think I first heard the following parallel between OT idolatry and the I John passage in a talk by Paris Reidhead. (sermonindex.net)

The idea is that each of the three things "in the world" that we are not to love corresponds to a particular idol that the Israelites were so tempted to worship, and that ultimately contributed to their downfall.
  • Ashtoreth The Sidonian goddess of sensuality and pleasure "the cravings of sinful man"
  • Baal The god of material prosperity "the lust of his eyes"
  • Molech The Ammonite god of power and influence "boasting of what he has and does"
Not much has changed over the centuries/millennia. Understanding this helps me understand the OT Israelites a little better, and empathize more with their struggle. They must have felt the pull of this obvious and visible idolatry the same as we feel the more subtle pull of it today, as individuals and as the people of God.

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