1pe 04v03 Abominable Idolatires




I Peter 4.3


I am quite certain that when Aaron and the children of Israel made their golden calf, it was not their intention to worship a bull. They had learned from the Egyptians that the bull was an ancient and respectable symbol of Deity, because it is the embodiment of strength and power. Therefore, they thought it would be a suitable, God honoring, representation of the power of God. They said, "We will worship the unseen power of God, by the image of a mighty bull." So Aaron made a costly, huge statue of a calf out of their precious gold, and said, "These be thy gods, O Israel...and built an altar before it" and proclaimed a feast for the worship of Jehovah (Ex. 32: 4-5).

                Moses did not treat this costly ritualism with respect, but with ridicule, indignation, and scorn. The golden calf was burned, ground to powder, scattered upon the water, and the children of Israel were made to drink it (Ex. 32:20). Then, those who repented not of their idolatry were slain, three thousand in one day (Ex. 32:27-28). Idolatry is an intolerable evil. It is to be treated with contempt and scorn. We must keep ourselves from idols.

                If ever there was any material object that deserved reverence, it would have been the brazen serpent which Moses made. It was made by the express command of God. Multitudes had been healed by looking to it. When properly used   it was a source of great blessing. But in the days of Hezekiah, the children of Israel burned incense to it. It became an idol. So Hezekiah called it "Nehustan", a scornful piece of brass, and destroyed it. "And the Lord was with him" (II Kings 18:1-7).

                I admire the boldness with which God's servants of old, in the tradition of Moses and Hezekiah, ridiculed and contemptuously treated the idolatry of Romanism. The Reformers and Puritans smashed the idols of papacy to pieces. But they have gradually crept back into acceptance. Where is the house of worship without an idolatrous cross, crucifix, picture of Jesus, or symbol of a dove? Where is the man or woman who does not carry or wear a cross? It is all idolatry and superstition. I hold such things in utter contempt, as God does. I will not be silent while idolatry is fashionable!