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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Sept. 17, 2008

  • 2008 Sep 17
  • COMMENTS
 

Idolatry and Cavemen

Genesis 10:32 - while concluding the table of nations, Moses gives a brief summary. "These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided (the word means 'disrupted,' emphasizing man's disruption in judgment) in the earth after the flood:” The whole chapter emphasizes the completeness of man's dispersal and the picture it gives, although some of its details may be uncertain today, is certainly one of worldwide dispersal. 

Idolatry and the occult runs clearly through all the cultures of the great past empires. Each had an underlying belief in astrology.  This was the cohesive force which bound together all the witchcraft, sorcery, and magic.  Kings would seldom make a move without consulting advisors steeped in the ancient art of Babylonian religion.  The ancient priests enjoyed royal stature and power, especially in Egypt

So even before the first major historic kingdom, Assyria, with its occult-mad capital city of Ninevah (see Nahum 3:4) – mankind was already idolatrous.  This idolatry only increases with the second major kingdom Egypt, which devoted much of its total wealth to the construction of pyramids, all built according to astrological specifications.  Egypt was also given to black magic (see Exodus 7:11, 22; 8:7, 18; 2 Tim. 3:9). The third was the neo-Babylonian empire of Daniel’s day, which really perfected the black arts. The fourth was Medo-Persia, which conquered Babylon but was in turn enslaved by the Babylonian religion. The fifth was the Greek empire.  One visit to Greece and her ancient temple sites will convince you of the sway which idolatrous religions held there! 

This is the reason why every nation and tribe of the past or present (except those whose cosmogony is based on Genesis 1 and 2, such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam) has a religious system which is fundamentally:

·         Pantheistic (believing that the physical universe rather than the transcendent Creator of that universe, is the ultimate reality),

·         Polytheistic  (believing that this deified cosmos manifests itself locally as various forces and systems of nature, which are personified as “gods” and “goddesses”),

·         Idolatrous (believing that these gods and goddesses, or personified forces and systems of nature, should be worshiped through images constructed to represent them and which they then possess and energize).  This monstrous system of evolutionary, polytheistic, pantheistic, spiritistic, astrological idolatry has permeated practically every culture in the world in one form or another.  Even modern evolutionary scientism is nothing but this same ancient paganism in more sophisticated garb.  All religions and philosophies except those founded on special creation as revealed in Genesis worship and serve the creation more than the Creator (Romans 1:25) and thus are under God’s condemnation.  They are either

·         Evolutionary (believing that these personified forces of nature somehow generate higher and higher orders of beings, including man and--in many cases--even spirits),

·         Animalistic/spiritistic (believing that the spirits so generated, including the spirits of dead men and women, continue to survive and perhaps evolve into still higher beings),

·         Astrological (believing that the highest beings so developed either inhabit or are identical with the starry host of heaven, so that these stars control events on earth), and

·         Humanistic (worshiping man as the highest attainment of the cosmic process) 

Idolatry is Foolishness Isaiah 44

·         Those who make an image, all of them are useless,

·         And their precious things shall not profit;

·         They are their own witnesses;

·         They neither see nor know, that they may be ashamed.

·         Who would form a god or mold an image

·         That profits him nothing?

·         Surely all his companions would be ashamed;

·         And the workmen, they are mere men.

·         Let them all be gathered together,

·         Let them stand up;

·         Yet they shall fear,

·         They shall be ashamed together.

·         The blacksmith with the tongs works one in the coals,

·         Fashions it with hammers,

·         And works it with the strength of his arms.

·         Even so, he is hungry, and his strength fails;

·         He drinks no water and is faint.

·         The craftsman stretches out his rule,

·         He marks one out with chalk;

·         He fashions it with a plane,

·         He marks it out with the compass,

·         And makes it like the figure of a man,

·         According to the beauty of a man, that it may remain in the house.

·         He cuts down cedars for himself,

·         And takes the cypress and the oak;

·         He secures it for himself among the trees of the forest.

·         He plants a pine, and the rain nourishes it.

·         Then it shall be for a man to burn,

·         For he will take some of it and warm himself;

·         Yes, he kindles it and bakes bread;

·         Indeed he makes a god and worships it;

·         He makes it a carved image, and falls down to it.

·         He burns half of it in the fire;

·         With this half he eats meat;

·         He roasts a roast, and is satisfied.

·         He even warms himself and says,

·         “Ah! I am warm,

·         I have seen the fire.”

·         And the rest of it he makes into a god,

·         His carved image.

·         He falls down before it and worships it,

·         Prays to it and says,

·         “Deliver me, for you are my god!”[12]

·         Idols and the True God

·         Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel.

·         2 Thus says the Lord:

·         “Do not learn the way of the Gentiles;

·         Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven,

·         For the Gentiles are dismayed at them.

·         For the customs of the peoples are futile;

·         For one cuts a tree from the forest,

·         The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.

·         They decorate it with silver and gold;

·         They fasten it with nails and hammers

·         So that it will not topple.

·         They are upright, like a palm tree,

·         And they cannot speak;

·         They must be carried,

·         Because they cannot go by themselves.

·         Do not be afraid of them,

·         For they cannot do evil,

·         Nor can they do any good.”

·         Inasmuch as there is none like You, O Lord

·         (You are great, and Your name is great in might),

·         Who would not fear You, O King of the nations?

·         For this is Your rightful due.

·         For among all the wise men of the nations,

·         And in all their kingdoms,

·         There is none like You.

·         But they are altogether dull-hearted and foolish;

·         A wooden idol is a worthless doctrine.

·         Silver is beaten into plates;

·         It is brought from Tarshish,

·         And gold from Uphaz,

·         The work of the craftsman

·         And of the hands of the metalsmith;

·         Blue and purple are their clothing;

·         They are all the work of skillful men.

·         But the Lord is the true God;

·         He is the living God and the everlasting King.

·         At His wrath the earth will tremble,

·         And the nations will not be able to endure His indignation.

·         Thus you shall say to them: “The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens.”

·         He has made the earth by His power,

·         He has established the world by His wisdom,

·         And has stretched out the heavens at His discretion.

·         When He utters His voice,

·         There is a multitude of waters in the heavens:

·         “And He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth.

·         He makes lightning for the rain,

·         He brings the wind out of His treasuries.”

·         Everyone is dull-hearted, without knowledge;

·         Every metalsmith is put to shame by an image;

·         For his molded image is falsehood,

·         And there is no breath in them.

·         They are futile, a work of errors;

·         In the time of their punishment they shall perish.

·         The Portion of Jacob is not like them,

·         For He is the Maker of all things,

·         And Israel is the tribe of His inheritance;

·         The Lord of hosts is His name

 

 

For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit  discoverthebook.org.

 

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