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Targeting Idolatry Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
July 29, 2021 1:00 am

Targeting Idolatry Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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July 29, 2021 1:00 am

It’s amazing how fast people forget. Right after Israel felt Sinai quake and saw Moses ascend the mountain, they turned to idolatry. We might be tempted to shake our heads in disbelief at their wandering hearts. But sadly, we also turn back to our idols after spiritual mountain-top experiences. In this message we learn what happened after Sinai, and what can happen to us.

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One reason for us. Jesus phone number for its amazing how fast people forget.

Right after Israel from Sinai going and Moses ascended the mountain, they turned to idolatry. Just as we turned back to our idols after spiritual content top experiences today.

What happened after Sinai and what can happen to us.

The church in Chicago this morning to with one loser was clear. Teaching helps us make it across the finish line vasculature. It's amazing how quickly we can forget something God has done Damien when I was younger I would read the book of Exodus and say to myself, how could these people be so foolish. God had just done great miracles.

Why did they not remember. Why did they not continue to trust but I'm not so critical of them anymore. When I look at my own life and the life of others. Isn't it true that God can bring us through a marvelous experience and we forget it and were in the slough of despond and in despair and in unbelief all that's what happened to Israel, but I have to say that in this book of Exodus we have some of the greatest most beautiful truths anywhere in Scripture. For example, in a future message were going to talk about Moses seeing the glory of God were going to understand that Moses failed at the finish line. But why he eventually won. These messages are available in two different forms. You can either have the audio which you been listening to hear on the radio, or if you prefer you can have these messages in book form. They're entitled getting closer to God.

I need to tell you that this is the second to last day that we are making these resources available for a gift of any amount what you can do is go to RTW RTW or call is at 1-888-218-9337 not the end of this message. I'm going to be giving you that contact info again, but for now let's listen to God's word some time ago leadership magazine had a cartoon. The caption was the light church, LIA, T.

E. This church has 24% fewer commitments. It's the home of the 5% to five the 15 minute sermon the 45 minute worship service, we have only eight Commandments and you get to choose an 800 year millennium and only three spiritual laws.

Everything you've always wanted in a church and less. Let me ask you a question. If you were to have only eight of the 10 Commandments which eight would you keep and which to would you jettison it's interesting that in the history of the church.

The second commandment has particularly often been ignored or reinterpreted so that it could be ignored second commandment says that thou shall not make onto the any image, both on things that are on the earth or in the sea, and thou shalt not bow down to them nor shall thou worship them, but the second commandment is often been broken. Matter fact, the irony is that when Moses was on the Mount. There on Mount Sinai receiving the 10 Commandments, of all things that people were in the Valley breaking the 10 Commandments and the story is recorded for us in Exodus chapter 32 Exodus chapter 32. As you know we are taking some snapshots in the life of Moses we did not go into all of the information regarding the 10 Commandments in the tabernacle, that would be a separate series of messages, but we pick up the story in chapter 32. Because Moses is high on the mountain and look at what's happening in the Valley that when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron and said to him, calm, make us a God who will go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt.

We do not know what has become of him. What is it that leads people into idolatry the impatience of God or I should say our impatience with God leads us into idolatry.

We want some fast results we want to have it our way.

We want God to get on with it and when he doesn't, we turn to a God who will why people go to fortunetellers even though the Bible strongly speaks against the cult because they want to have inside knowledge. People look to stars because what they want to do is to be guided by those horoscopes because after all, to depend on God and to make your decisions in faith seems to be impractical.

Give me something that I can get a hold of independent of God's past.

We got rid of a woman who went to a fortuneteller by the way, if I may insert some humor in the sermon, and she said I want you to tell me about your future and the fortuneteller said prepare for widowhood to your husband is guided the kill. That is going to have a violent death. So the client as to second question, would you please look into the future and tell me, will I be acquitted. There are ways to create your own future and a like to do today. Since all of us are lovers of idols and we are of the worst things we could do is to read the story as if it is a historical story only and not see ourselves in the portrait.

What I'd like to do is to walk us through this scene and take us through the five stages of idle lovers five stages of idle lovers. What's happening here in the text.

First of all as idle lovers we make our own idols. We fashioned then according to our own wishes. We pick up the story in verse two and Aaron said to them, tear off the gold rings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons and your daughters and ring them to me than all the people tore off the gold rings which were in their ears and brought them to Aaron and he took this from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made it into a molten calf and said this is your God, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, don't I think I think that Erin never believed for a moment, but the women were going to give up their earrings when they decided that they wanted to have a class or some kind of a God, he thought to himself, all make a golden calf and I'm going to ask them for the gold and the women and men will not give up their jewelry that would be the end of it. Much to his shock. I took the earrings off of their ears, and the bracelets from their hands and they said here is make us a God. Now there different kinds of gods. This happened to be a God that was fashioned by human hands. This was a God that actually represented the true God, Jehovah, or was supposed to.

The reason that Aaron made a bull is because apps this was the bull that they had learned about in Egypt.

It was an Egyptian God and do you know that when they fashioned this idol. They decided that behind it would be the living and the true God.

It was to represent Jehovah's will.

How do you know that that's truth.

First of all because it is certainly obvious that Aaron would not attribute their deliverance from Egypt to this golden calf that was before them. That was unthinkable fact. The Bible even says that the heathen who make these idols actually worship the powers the demons that are behind those idle secondly notice what it says in the text verse five. Now when Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it, and Aaron made a proclamation and said tomorrow shall be a feast to Jehovah to the Lord. This calf was supposed to be a worship helper that's put the cap was to be like some of you grew up in churches that have worship helpers, you're not really supposed to pray to that statute, but the statue helps you to pray to the power that is behind the statute and so they decided that this calf would represent God, Lord, what had the Lord said in the second commandment, thou shalt not make onto the any graven image, nor bow down to it of any likeness actually see there are gods that are made with hands, and then there are also gods that we sometimes construct idols that we construct in our minds is a many of us don't like the living and the true God is that he is revealed in the Bible.

And so we make up our own version of God. We do not abandon God. Idolatry is not abandoning God is refashioning God.

It is modifying God. Imagine this Julian Huxley in an interview on television set, a number of years ago that the reason why Darwinism was so quickly accepted without any scientific basis is because we did not want God to interfere with our sexual morays. He said what's interesting and there have been studies done in religion in Canada and the United States, and the discovery is that the God that Americans and Canadians worship essentially is a cultural God, who has been remade according to the cultural fabric of our time. He is attained. God, a God that we can handle a God that we can live with. Most people don't abandon God they refashion him. According to their liking. Every time we want to disobey the time we want to manipulate every time we want our own way. We reconstruct God to fit, but we really want to do your and idle other time and I love her in step number one is to fashion a God, according to our liking. Step number two is that we end up worshiping these gods these idols. Notice it says that Aaron saw this, he built an altar made a proclamation verse six. So the next day they arose early and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings and the people sat down to eat and to drink and they rose up to play now constructing this God had already cost them something, it had cost them the goal that they had brought with them from Egypt, but know God is going to be satisfied with an initial down payment.

Every God wants to have more and more, and so they offered burnt offerings and other sacrifices they are sacrificing these animals because that's what God demands his sacrifice, you must understand today that every single God wants our allegiance any God that we construct any God that we want wants us to bow down and eventually took own costs and your God, that you have constructed independently of the Lord God Jehovah wants complete total ownership of your life now, so does the living of the true God. You and I are individuals who are basically owned. We are owned by some God. We are not our own people. We are owned by whatever God we choose and we worship that shrine so the Bible says that they worshiped God."

This new God and even though worshiping a false God may be easy at first.

It'll cost you more and more later on. So what we do we fashion a God we worship the God of secondly and thirdly, we enjoy our God. It says that they rose up to play now. Please hear me. That does not mean that they simply played games. It really is a euphemism for sexual orgy. We know that from its interpretation. In the New Testament in the book of first Corinthians were talks about the immorality of the people they said, we finally have a God that will let us do what we want to do. We don't want to simply stay within God's laws, and now we have found a God that that will give us the freedom that we think any good God should really give us. Isn't it interesting that the Bible says that when we construct idols.

We always think of those idols are like unto us says in Psalm 50 you allowed people to commit adultery. You allowed people to live in shame and derision and do you thought God says you thought that these idols were like unto me, you thought that this was like the true God. Isn't it interesting in Romans chapter 1 where Paul gives the origin of idolatry. By the way most people think that religion has evolved, and as it has evolved. It has become refined until you have the monotheism of Christianity and Judaism.

Actually, religion has always declined. Originally, people believed in the true God and were monotheistic and instead of evolution. There has been devolution just listen carefully while I quote portions of Romans chapter 1, who, when they knew God glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God onto an image made like onto corruptible man onto birds and four-footed creatures, and creeping things you notice there is a devolution, and what happens in the very next verse. Therefore God gave them over to vile passions. Idolatry at certain results that they could enjoy every God. Every false God has his payment time and as far as possible, he will want to make that payment. A good payment so that you are hooked. The people here now rose up to play. They enjoyed themselves. And as far as they were concerned they had fashioned a God who now was according to your liking so much easier to obey than Jehovah.

So what we do as idle lovers we construct the God we worship the God we enjoy the God and then number four. We are judged for those God's for those idols look at the text now it says in verse seven and the Lord spoke to Moses and said go down at once for your people whom you brought up from the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves and they have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them and they have made for themselves a molten calf and have worshiped it and have sacrificed to it and they have said this is your God, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, and God evinces Moses just let me alone, and all his vapor rise in the whiten off the face of the earth and all start over with you very intriguing story because what Moses does is to say no don't do that because your promise Lord is at stake, and the nations are going to say what the Lord was able to bring them out, but he couldn't bring them in. The Lord is your reputation that is at stake here. You have to keep these people alive, and God loved Moses prayer. Then in verse 15 it says that Moses turned and went down from the mountain with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, tablets which were written on both sides.

On one side and the other, and the tablets were God's work.

The writing was God's writing engraved tablets verse 19 and it came about as soon as Moses near the camp that he saw the calf and the dancing and his anger burned and he threw the tablets from his hand and shatter them at the foot of the mountain and he took the calf which they had made and burned with fire, must understand that this Was probably constructed with wood and then overlaid with the golden Moses burns the thing and then he takes the gold any grinds it to powder and he scatters it over the surface of the water and he makes the sons of Israel drink what he says is I want you to feel now the bad effects the negative effects the backwash of your idolatry and just in the same way God is continually doing this in people's lives, whatever title we hang onto eventually disappoints us and we find that bitter taste in our mouths and in our lives because we have on onto it so dearly and so what happens in people's experience that marriage that they decided that they would have no matter what God said about they knew better than God, and they would go ahead without consulting him they would not be too particular in submitting to his guidance because they had an idea as to what God maybe wanted to do in their lives and they said no and eventually the very thing that they crave is a bitter taste. And then there's that promotion that the person sought. Who was this overwhelmingly overcome by the desire to be promoted and to have this position and along with it come all kinds of compromises all kinds of difficulties all kinds of torn relationships because God begins to take the saying of our idols. And then there is that real estate that people buy so that they might be able to have a wise investment and they discover that soon the price begins to drop all of their hopes and dreams that have been wrapped up in that business investment come tumbling down. And God is constantly stripping the idols away from us and pruning our lives so that we will not be cut up in that horrible sin that he hates so much idolatry and so the people were judged for their idolatry. Notice what happens because the fifth point is that we must repent of our idolatry must repent of it that step number five if we are wise we will repent. Here is an interesting sidelight into human nature verse 21 Moses said to Aaron what did this people do to you that you have brought such great sin upon them and Aaron said, well, do not let the anger of my Lord burn.

You know the people yourself that they are prone to evil, for they said to me, make me a God who will go before us for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt. We not know what has become of him so I know what you gonna do you live in a democratic society.

I said to them, whoever has any goal, let them tear it off and so they gave it to me and I will really Moses believe this. I threw it into the fire and I working this calf really when that neat Moses, you need to understand.

It's the kind of furnaces that we have out here that's really the problem yet understand if the people's problem and then if they didn't make these kinds of furnaces well. This would not happen, but what are you gonna know what the furnace as it is the furnaces. Yes, I know we all think it's rather funny but I want you to know today that Satan has a good excuse for any sin that you and I want to commit is got a good excuse for it and somehow it'll turn out that it will not be our fault it will be somebody else's fault and it will be the circumstances fold and it will be the other person's fault. But one thing you sure we will not be at fault. The desire to protect ourselves the desire to make sure that somebody else is to blame is so overwhelming that we will arm ourselves with a pack of excuses and a pack of lies and will even blame the furnace or something that we ourselves have done. Personally, I find this passage of Scripture. Very interesting because in the sense it's a template of today we want to fashion God according to our image.

The way in which we want him to be, rather than accepting the way he is and this goes back to the life of Aaron is an example of what we will do to get the God we want. I've written a book entitled getting closer to God. Now, this book actually is based on the series of messages that you have just been listening to lessons from the life of Moses and I need to tell you that this is the next-to-last day when we are making this resource available for you and we do this to enable you to live the life that God intends that we remember God that we learn from the past and from his holy word for a gift of any amount. This book can be yours. Here is what you do go to RTW that's RTW or if you prefer you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 now I'm going to be giving you this contact information again gives you time to get a pencil so that you can write it down. I want to remind you once again that this is the second to last day that we are making available the book getting closer to God. Lessons from the life of Moses will discover in the book that Moses did not end well but yet at the same time he ended very well and that will become clear in the last chapter well for a gift of any amount ask for getting closer to God. Go to RTW RTW of course is all one word RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 Moses has been given many chapters in the Bible and God says learn from his life and my relationship with him.

You can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614. Each of us has idols. We like made in our own image. Where as guilty as the children of Israel today. Erwin looks or what part one targeting idolatry. The 10th in a series of 12 messages about the life and times of Moses, a man getting closer to God. Next time, targeting all the golden calves in our own lives.

This is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody teacher

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