Worshiping Other God’s is Forbidden

Barclay quotes William Temple, the renowned archbishop of Canterbury, as defining worship as quickening the conscience by the holiness of God, feeding the mind with the truth of God, purging the imagination by the beauty of God, opening the heart to the love of God, and dev … More


Moses wanted to make sure that the people did not forget all they had seen God do, so He urged parents to teach their children about God’s great miracles. While the mountain burned with fire the Lord spoke out of the midst of the fire (vv. 11-12). The nations around Israel worshiped many gods, but Israel was to worship only the one true God. Our worship may be to money, comfort, convenience, or status, rather than allowing God to bring his words to our attention. He commanded them to perform the ten commandments and to perform them in the land they were soon to possess (vv. 13-15). The people heard God speak the Word, but they didn’t see any form of God (v. 15).


The conclusion seems obvious; God forbids His people to worship visible representations of God or of anything God has made, whether humans, animals, birds, fish or the sun, moon, and stars.The religious objects and exercises discussed here are totally alien in today’s Western world; but the basic distinction made between such practices and the worship of God is still relevant and important (vv. 16-19). It is often easier to worship an idol, bow to a crucifix, or send a check to the local church, than it is to listen to the voice of the invisible God. To worship other gods is to worship nothing and become nothing (Ps. 115:8). In his message, Moses gives several arguments to defend this warning against idolatry. To worship the creation instead of the Creator is the essence of idolatry (Rom. 1:22-25). God had taken them out of the iron furnace of Egypt and placed them in His inheritance (v . 20). God made man in His image, but idolaters make gods in their own image and thereby cheapen themselves and insult God.


It is so easy for me to worship people or things in this life. My desire is to feed my mind with the truth of God’s Word to the point it will be purged from the things of this world and devoted totally to the fulfillment of God’s purpose in my life.

Deuteronomy 4:11-20 (English Standard Version)

And you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, while the mountain burned with fire to the heart of heaven, wrapped in darkness, cloud, and gloom. Then the LORD spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of words, but saw no form; there was only a voice. And he declared to you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments, and he wrote them on two tablets of stone. And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and rules, that you might do them in the land that you are going over to possess. "Therefore watch yourselves very carefully. Since you saw no form on the day that the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, beware lest you act corruptly by making a carved image for yourselves, in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth. And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven. But the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be a people of his own inheritance, as you are this day."

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