The Lord’s Indictment Against Hypocrisy

Hideyoshi, a Japanese warlord who ruled over Japan in the late 1500s, commissioned a colossal statue of Buddha for a shrine in Kyoto. It took 50,000 men five years to build, but the work had scarcely been completed when the earthquake of 1596 brought the roof of the shrine crashi … More

Idolatry

In the previous verses, we were told how dead works are judged. Now we are told how wickedness is judged (v. 16). The inadequacy of the old sacrificial system is especially shown by the list of sins given in these verses:

1. Hateful attitudes - (v. 17)

2. Sharing with thieves and adulterers - (v. 18)

3. Lying - (v. 19)

4. Slander - (v. 20)

God’s longsuffering grace must never be looked on as laxity (II Peter 3:3-10) nor abused (v. 21). His reckoning for rebellion will be carried out. Before destruction comes there will be an opportunity for deliberation and repentance (v. 22), Some of the greatest blessings ever to come to mankind have come through the Jew who was acting in the will of God. To the Jew, we owe our Bible, our Savior, and our faith. However, the Jew out of the will of God can do more to neutralize, dynamic, evangelical Christianity than anything else the world has to offer. Any missionary caught trying to share the gospel with the Jew in Israel today will probably be expelled from the country. A few years ago, a missionary, we know, in Word of Life was kicked out of Israel for sharing the Gospel.

The crowning sin of Israel in the Old Testament, up to the Babylonian captivity, was idolatry. After the captivity idolatry was not the big problem but instead it was formalism and hypocrisy. In the future, during the tribulation, many Jews will revert back to idolatry and worship the image of the beast. In the meantime, God pledges to reveal Himself to those who want to know the truth (v. 23).

Application

Idolatry is still a big sin in the world today. In many religions, like Roman Catholicism, people carry a crucifix and bow down to statues of the Virgin Mary etc. In Protestantism it may be things like a car, a boat or other objects.

Psalms 50:16-23 (English Standard Version)

But to the wicked God says: "What right have you to recite my statutes or take my covenant on your lips? For you hate discipline, and you cast my words behind you. If you see a thief, you are pleased with him, and you keep company with adulterers. "You give your mouth free rein for evil, and your tongue frames deceit. You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother's son. These things you have done, and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you. "Mark this, then, you who forget God, lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver! The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!"

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