Nov 19, 2017
II. Read Exodus 20:3.
A. What does it mean when God commands against our having other gods? In verse 5, we’re forbidden from bowing down or worshipping idols. Since we no longer literally have little golden figurines of the sort that were seen as idols or gods in days of old, are we off the hook on this now? If not, what could such gods look like in our own time?
B. In verse 4, we’re forbidden from making idols. Why the separate concern about making idols? When could we make an idol that we ourselves might not worship or bow down to?
III. Literally, Exodus 20:23 forbids our making alongside God gods of silver and gold and neither shall we make gods for ourselves. See also Leviticus 19:4.
A. What does the mention of gods in silver and gold add to our understanding? What does “silver” and “gold” mean?
B. Could we make gods of ourselves? Illustrate how. What’s the Divine worry here?
IV. Read Exodus 23:13.
This and related commandments, among other things, forbid our swearing by idols. How would we do that in our lives? How does such behavior profane God’s name?
V. Read Leviticus 18:21.
After discussing what this strange language might have involved in ancient times, let’s ponder whether it has any modern day relevance. What comes to mind in our world when you hear of the practices warned against in these verses?
VI. Read Deuteronomy 16:21-22 and Leviticus 26:1.
Again, we’ll consider first what this language concerned in ancient times. It’s uncanny, though, that there are worrisome practices in our own time that they seem to bring to mind. What might they be, and why should we be concerned?
VII. Read Leviticus 19:31 and Deuteronomy 18:10-11.
We see some of these sorts of activities as innocent fun - astrology, spirits, and the like.
But what’s wrong - deeply wrong - to God and for us, if we take it too far?
VIII. Discussion - many of you made reference from your own study of the Bible to verses about God’s wrath. It troubled you that God would seek the destruction of certain peoples and their ways.
Well - we’ve now come to the source of God’s wrath - rampant and pure heathenism and idolatry. We don’t have time now to get into a serious discussion of how we are to take God’s wrath in the Bible.
But we can ask this question: why does idolatry so trouble God, and why should it trouble us? And, if it’s allowed to exist and indeed grow, uncontested by us and other people of faith, what risk does it pose to God and God’s hopes for the world?