Idolatry offends God. Everything that takes God’s place in our lives is idolatry. Only God deserves worship. The second commandment forbids idolatry ( Deuteronomy 5: 8-10 ).
Idolatry in the Bible
The neighboring people of Israel worshiped idols, which are images of gods. They believed that the gods lived within the images and that they could be manipulated with rituals and sacrifices. Many Israelites adopted their idols and idolatrous rituals ( Judges 2: 11-12 ).
But the Bible says that there is only one God, who is spirit and cannot be represented by images or objects created by men ( John 4:24 ). God does not live inside statues and cannot be manipulated. There are no other gods; whoever believes in them believes in a lie.
The Bible shows that worshiping an image is a ridiculous act. An idol is just an object formed by a person. He cannot see, hear or speak, let alone help anyone who prays to him! Worshiping an idol is like worshiping a piece of wood – useless ( Isaiah 44: 16-17 ).
See also here: is it biblical to worship Mary and the saints?
Is idolatry just worshiping images?
No, idolatry is not just about worshiping images. Idolatry is to worship anything that is not God. When something gains more importance in your life than God, it becomes your idol. Everything can become an idol:
- A person
- A job
- A hobby
- Material goods
How to avoid idolatry?
To avoid idolatry, just focus on God. Always put God first ( Deuteronomy 6: 4-5 ). Put your whole life in the hands of God. An idol is something that controls your life but Jesus came to set you free. You no longer need to be enslaved by idolatry. Pray for God’s help to get rid of idols.