Idolatry is the worship, veneration and/or idolization of anyone or anything other than the One True God. That is the Trinity:
- God, the Father – Yahweh
- God, the Son – Jesus, Yeshua Ha-Mashiach, the Messiah
- God, the Holy Spirit or Ghost
God laid down this law clearly in the 10 Commandments found in Exodus 20:
3 “You must not have any other god but me.
4 “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. 5 You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods.”Exodus 20:3-5 NLT
The Jews had difficulty complying with this law as do many world religions today, including Roman Catholicism. In these next 2 chapters of Isaiah, God reiterates that idolatry is foolish and that He alone is God. Period. Let’s dig in….
“But now, listen to me, Jacob my servant,
Israel my chosen one.
2 The Lord who made you and helps you says:
Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant,
O dear Israel, my chosen one.
3 For I will pour out water to quench your thirst
and to irrigate your parched fields.
And I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants,
and my blessing on your children.
4 They will thrive like watered grass,
like willows on a riverbank.
5 Some will proudly claim, ‘I belong to the Lord.’
Others will say, ‘I am a descendant of Jacob.’
Some will write the Lord’s name on their hands
and will take the name of Israel as their own.”
The Foolishness of Idols
6 This is what the Lord says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies:
“I am the First and the Last;
there is no other God.
7 Who is like me?
Let him step forward and prove to you his power.
Let him do as I have done since ancient times
when I established a people and explained its future.
8 Do not tremble; do not be afraid.
Did I not proclaim my purposes for you long ago?
You are my witnesses—is there any other God?
No! There is no other Rock—not one!”
9 How foolish are those who manufacture idols.
These prized objects are really worthless.
The people who worship idols don’t know this,
so they are all put to shame.
10 Who but a fool would make his own god—
an idol that cannot help him one bit?
11 All who worship idols will be disgraced
along with all these craftsmen—mere humans—
who claim they can make a god.
They may all stand together,
but they will stand in terror and shame.
12 The blacksmith stands at his forge to make a sharp tool,
pounding and shaping it with all his might.
His work makes him hungry and weak.
It makes him thirsty and faint.
13 Then the wood-carver measures a block of wood
and draws a pattern on it.
He works with chisel and plane
and carves it into a human figure.
He gives it human beauty
and puts it in a little shrine.
14 He cuts down cedars;
he selects the cypress and the oak;
he plants the pine in the forest
to be nourished by the rain.
15 Then he uses part of the wood to make a fire.
With it he warms himself and bakes his bread.
Then—yes, it’s true—he takes the rest of it
and makes himself a god to worship!
He makes an idol
and bows down in front of it!
16 He burns part of the tree to roast his meat
and to keep himself warm.
He says, “Ah, that fire feels good.”
17 Then he takes what’s left
and makes his god: a carved idol!
He falls down in front of it,
worshiping and praying to it.
“Rescue me!” he says.
“You are my god!”
18 Such stupidity and ignorance!
Their eyes are closed, and they cannot see.
Their minds are shut, and they cannot think.
19 The person who made the idol never stops to reflect,
“Why, it’s just a block of wood!
I burned half of it for heat
and used it to bake my bread and roast my meat.
How can the rest of it be a god?
Should I bow down to worship a piece of wood?”
20 The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes.
He trusts something that can’t help him at all.
Yet he cannot bring himself to ask,
“Is this idol that I’m holding in my hand a lie?”
Restoration for Jerusalem
21 “Pay attention, O Jacob,
for you are my servant, O Israel.
I, the Lord, made you,
and I will not forget you.
22 I have swept away your sins like a cloud.
I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist.
Oh, return to me,
for I have paid the price to set you free.”
23 Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done this wondrous thing.
Shout for joy, O depths of the earth!
Break into song,
O mountains and forests and every tree!
For the Lord has redeemed Jacob
and is glorified in Israel.
24 This is what the Lord says—Isaiah 44 NLT
your Redeemer and Creator:
“I am the Lord, who made all things.
I alone stretched out the heavens.
Who was with me
when I made the earth?
25 I expose the false prophets as liars
and make fools of fortune-tellers.
I cause the wise to give bad advice,
thus proving them to be fools.
26 But I carry out the predictions of my prophets!
By them I say to Jerusalem, ‘People will live here again,’
and to the towns of Judah, ‘You will be rebuilt;
I will restore all your ruins!’
27 When I speak to the rivers and say, ‘Dry up!’
they will be dry.
28 When I say of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd,’
he will certainly do as I say.
He will command, ‘Rebuild Jerusalem’;
he will say, ‘Restore the Temple.’”
- Verse 3: Was fulfilled at Pentecost!
- Verse 5: “I belong to the Lord.” I belong to Jesus! Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:13, “And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.”
- Verse 22: Jesus took away our sins forever on the cross. They are gone. Once forgiven, always forgiven. Once saved, always saved.
- God never abandoned Israel. He punished them for while. Just like one punishes a little kid on a time-out.
- 700 BC – date of the Book of Isaiah
- 605-586 BC – the Babylonian invasion of Judah and the exile
- 539 BC – fall of the Babylonian empire to Cyrus of Persia
- 458 BC – Cyrus sends the Jews back and the restoration begins
- 332 – 323 BC – Alexander the Great conquers the Persian empire
- 323 – 198 BC – the Greek takeover of Israel to the Maccabeean Revolt
- God and Jesus are one in the same. In verse 6, God states that He is the “First and the Last”. In the Book of Revelation, John writes that Jesus said…
“I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.”
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”Revelation 1:8, 22:13 NLT
Only God is 100% accurate 100% of the time! Anyone who doubts Bible Prophecy is foolish.
Idolatry is Foolish
Idolatry is self-worship — humans worshiping themselves. Idolatry is making gods in their own image. God made US in HIS image!
Today, also we have the worship of the mother earth. Those who adhere to the whole climate change fallacy are also idolaters. Likewise, there are also people who worship themselves — prideful and vain — as well as those who worship money, power, luxury and success. It’s all idolatry.
There is ONE GOD and ONE GOD ONLY!
This is what the Lord says to Cyrus, his anointed one,
whose right hand he will empower.
Before him, mighty kings will be paralyzed with fear.
Their fortress gates will be opened,
never to shut again.
2 This is what the Lord says:
“I will go before you, Cyrus,
and level the mountains.
I will smash down gates of bronze
and cut through bars of iron.
3 And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness—
I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord,
the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.
4 “And why have I called you for this work?
Why did I call you by name when you did not know me?
It is for the sake of Jacob my servant,
Israel my chosen one.
5 I am the Lord;
there is no other God.
I have equipped you for battle,
though you don’t even know me,
6 so all the world from east to west
will know there is no other God.
I am the Lord, and there is no other.
7 I create the light and make the darkness.
I send good times and bad times.
I, the Lord, am the one who does these things.
8 “Open up, O heavens,
and pour out your righteousness.
Let the earth open wide
so salvation and righteousness can sprout up together.
I, the Lord, created them.
9 “What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator.
Does a clay pot argue with its maker?
Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying,
‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’
Does the pot exclaim,
‘How clumsy can you be?’
10 How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father,
‘Why was I born?’
or if it said to its mother,
‘Why did you make me this way?’”
11 This is what the Lord says—
the Holy One of Israel and your Creator:
“Do you question what I do for my children?
Do you give me orders about the work of my hands?
12 I am the one who made the earth
and created people to live on it.
With my hands I stretched out the heavens.
All the stars are at my command.
13 I will raise up Cyrus to fulfill my righteous purpose,
and I will guide his actions.
He will restore my city and free my captive people—
without seeking a reward!
I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!”
Future Conversion of Gentiles
14 This is what the Lord says:
“You will rule the Egyptians,
the Ethiopians, and the Sabeans.
They will come to you with all their merchandise,
and it will all be yours.
They will follow you as prisoners in chains.
They will fall to their knees in front of you and say,
‘God is with you, and he is the only God.
There is no other.’”
15 Truly, O God of Israel, our Savior,
you work in mysterious ways.
16 All craftsmen who make idols will be humiliated.
They will all be disgraced together.
17 But the Lord will save the people of Israel
with eternal salvation.
Throughout everlasting ages,
they will never again be humiliated and disgraced.
18 For the Lord is God,
and he created the heavens and earth
and put everything in place.
He made the world to be lived in,
not to be a place of empty chaos.
“I am the Lord,” he says,
“and there is no other.
19 I publicly proclaim bold promises.
I do not whisper obscurities in some dark corner.
I would not have told the people of Israel to seek me
if I could not be found.
I, the Lord, speak only what is true
and declare only what is right.
20 “Gather together and come,Isaiah 45 NLT
you fugitives from surrounding nations.
What fools they are who carry around their wooden idols
and pray to gods that cannot save!
21 Consult together, argue your case.
Get together and decide what to say.
Who made these things known so long ago?
What idol ever told you they would happen?
Was it not I, the Lord?
For there is no other God but me,
a righteous God and Savior.
There is none but me.
22 Let all the world look to me for salvation!
For I am God; there is no other.
23 I have sworn by my own name;
I have spoken the truth,
and I will never go back on my word:
Every knee will bend to me,
and every tongue will declare allegiance to me.”
24 The people will declare,
“The Lord is the source of all my righteousness and strength.”
And all who were angry with him
will come to him and be ashamed.
25 In the Lord all the generations of Israel will be justified,
and in him they will boast.
We’ll read more about Cyrus when we get to the Book of Daniel, so I won’t get into him now.
What’s important here is what will happen in the future
Every knee in the world will bow to Jesus! Paul acknowledges this in his letter to the Philippians…
6 Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
8 he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honorPhilippians 2:6-11 NLT
and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Worshiping anything or anyone else but Jesus is idolatry! And He DETESTS idolatry!
So, the next time you’re in church, if you look around and see statues of people made of wood, plaster, clay, stone or metal, remember that God created the materials a human used to create the statue, or image. Worshiping an inanimate object is idolatry. Period.
THE GOOD NEWS IS…
You can turn from idol worship, confess and repent of your sins and Jesus will forgive you — FOREVER!
If you openly declare that JESUS is your ONLY LORD and SAVIOR, you are redeemed! You are saved from spending eternity in hell — which by the way, that’s where you’re going without Jesus. Because, there is no such thing as purgatory!
It’s YOUR choice!