I’m sure that you have often heard it said that just like the Israelites, we can have our own problem with idolatry; the idols aren’t brazen or wood, they’re “fancier!” But just like them, we can struggle with idolatry. Of course, there is much truth in this, because anything that we place between ourselves and God becomes an idol to us. Whether it is our car, our money, our spouse, our TV, our time, or anything else, we can struggle with idolatry.

That said, the point of this article isn’t how to deal with our idols; rather, I’d like to take a second to look at dealing with other people’s idols. I’m afraid that too often we’re content to let people go on doing whatever they like to do, as long as we’re not immediately affected by it. This is becoming an increasing problem with the types of sin that society is beginning to accept, but it has almost always been a problem with idolatry. Notice, however, how God’s people should react to others’ idolatry:

“And [Josiah] began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the Asherim, and the graven images, and the molten images. And they broke down the altars of the Baalim in his presence; and the sun-images that were on high above them he hewed down. And the Asherim, and the graven images, and the molten images, he broke in pieces, and made dust of them, and strewed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them” (2 Chron. 34: 4).

Josiah wasn’t content to worship God in peace while others did evil. He saw the object of their wickedness and sought do destroy it. However, just like always, doing God’s Will won’t make you the most popular person in the world.

“Then the men of the city said to Joash, ‘Bring out [Gideon] that he may die, because he has broken down the altar of Baal, and because he has cut down the Asherah that was by it’” (Judges 6:30).

Before anyone goes out and gets themselves arrested, I’m not saying that we should take a baseball bat to our neighbor’s Jag. Since the idols of today aren’t the same as the idols of the Old Testament, let us understand that our fight against them should be different also. Our battle is a war of words. We have the complete revelation of God’s will, and that is the sword we carry into each battle—whether we use it offensively or defensively. With it, we can lay open the hearts of all who hear before God (Heb. 4:12-13) and tear down their idols.

Above all, understand this: just as it was in the Old Testament, God will allow us to have no other before Him; and, that “they who practice such things are worthy of death, not only those who do the same, but also those who consent with them that practice them” (Rom. 1:32).

By Nathan Ward

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