Which God Do You Serve?

"Therefore, fear the Lord and worship Him in sincerity and truth. Get rid of the gods your fathers worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and worship יהוה. But if it doesn’t please you to worship יהוה, choose for yourselves today the one you will worship: the gods your fathers worshiped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. As for me and my family, we will worship יהוה."Joshua 24:14-15 CSB
definition
worship[1]
verb
  1. : to honor or show reverence for as a divine being or supernatural power
  2. : to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion
What does it mean to worship?
The CSB uses "worhsip to describe Joshua's allegiance to God, while the KJV uses the word "serve." The original Hebrew is עָבַד, which mostly translates to "serve." This firmly cements worship and allegiance to God to actions

Biblical examples of worship/serving
  • The same word is used in Genesis 14:4 and Genesis 15:13-14; here it is in reference to enslavement and bondage
  • Exodus 3:12
  • Exodus 20:5;9 - used to condemn idolatry and also a reference to work when it comes to the Sabbath
  • Exodus 23:24-25
  • Psalm 100:2 - "Serve the Lord with gladness: come before His presence with singing"
So, who are these other gods? How do we choose? What is the importance of Joshua 24:14-15?
To identify the idols God has commanded us to stay away from, we must first define the words "god," "deity," and "idol," so that we can recognize them both in Biblical times and in modern times. Does it have to be personified? Can one person make something a god (re: do numbers matter)?
definition
idol[3]
noun
  1. : an object of extreme devotion
  2. : a representation or symbol of an object of worship
    broadly: a false god
  3. a: a likeness of something
    b: obsolete: PRETENDER, IMPOSTER
  4. : a false conception : FALLACY
  5. : a form of appearance visible but without substance
definition
god[4]
noun
  1. a: the being perfect in power wisdom, and goodness, who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe
    b: Christian Science: the incorporeal divine principle ruling over all as eternal spirit : infinite Mind
  2. : a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship specifically: one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality
  3. : a person or thing of supreme value
  4. : a powerful ruler
definition
deity[5]
noun
  1. a: the rank or essential nature of a god : DIVINITY
    b: capitalized: GOD sense 1, SUPREME BEING
  2. : a god (see GOD entry 1 sense 2) or goddess
  3. : one exalted or revered as supremely good or powerful
Idols and false gods in the Bible
TammuzSumerian godfertility godEzekiel 8:14
Ba'alCanaanite godsun godNumbers 25; Judges 2:13
ChemoshMoabite god"the subduer"; required human sacrificesNumbers 21:29; Judges11:24
AshtorethCanaanite godconsort of Ba'al1 Kings 11:5; Judges 2:13
DagonPhilistine god1/2 fish; 1/2 man; water god1 Samuel 5; Judges 16:23
MardukBabylonian godfertility god; had 50 namesJeremiah 50:2
MolechAmmonite godother names: Molech, Milcom, MolekLeviticus 18:21; 2 Kings 23:10
ZeusGreek godruling god in Greek mythologyActs 14:12
HermesGreek godgod of trade and trickery; son of ZeusActs 14:12
ArtemisGreek goddessgoddess of the hunt and moon; Zeus' daughterActs 19:24-28
Are there modern gods/goddesses that we should beware of?
  • We have a tendency to make our own gods (think, The Gold Calf from Exodus 32)
  • We turn objects into gods (eg., phones, jobs, etc.)
  • We idolize people, specifically celebrities
Who was the first false god? Why did people start worshipping it?

Why are idols a thing?
  • The first instance of man turning away from God (יהוה) is in Genesis 3 when Adam and Eve listened to the serpent
  • The serpent is the devil (Revelation 12:9; 20:2)
  • His goal is to be like the Most high God (Isaiah 14:12-14)
definition
αντι[6]
preposition
    over against, opposite, instead of, in place of
  • The antichrist, mentioned in 1 John 2:19,22; 4:3 and 2 John 1:7, is taking it one step further in trying to replace God (יהוה) by taking the place of Christ.
  • God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are Truth
  • Satan, antichrist, and the beast are the devil's deception
Examples of things/ideas/people replacing God (יהוה) in our society today
  • Thinking a man is infallible and has the power to forgive sins (eg. the Pope and priests)
  • Traditions in the church
  • One World Religion / Coexist ideology
Biblical warnings
  • 1 Timothy 4; 6 - The Great Apostasy; deceiving spirits, doctrine of demons, lies/hypocrisy
  • 2 Peter 2 - Destructive Doctrines; false teachers, false prophets
  • Matthew 7:15 - False prophets compared to wolves in sheep's clothing
  • Matthew 24:11,24 - False prophets/christs deceive the world
  • Acts 13:6-12 - Outing a false prophet
  • 2 Corinthians 11:1-21 - Warning about another Jesus being preached
  • Colossians 2:18 - Worship of angels
  • 1 John 4:1 - Test the spirits to know if they are true or false
  • Revelation 13:14 - deception of the antichrist
  • Revelation 19:20 - deception of the antichrist
My actual notes for the show
Angels and spirits are not all working for God (יהוה). Either way, we may mistake them for gods and those not on God's (יהוה) side will allow you to worship them.

References

  1. "worship". Merriam-Webster Dictionary; visited December 2019
  2. "Strong's H5647". Blue Letter Bible; visited December 2019
  3. "idol". Merriam-Webster Dictionary; visited December 2019
  4. "god". Merriam-Webster Dictionary; visited December 2019
  5. "deity". Merriam-Webster Dictionary; visited December 2019
  6. "Strong's G473". Blue Letter Bible; visited December 2019

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Author Image Author Image I love reading the Word of God. With prayer God's Word reveals so much: from comfort to temperance, from perspective to affirmation. Digging into the depths of the Word, cross-referencing history, language and time differences, is a passion of mine. In March of 2015 I decided to go back through the Bible doing an in depth study on each section I read. Eventually I decided to share my journal of notes as I partake in this journey. I hope you are blessed by God and inspired to pursue a deeper relationship with Him. I love reading and learning about God, nature, and science. I am interested in how it all connects. The Creator's fingerprints are all over his creation. We can learn so much about Him and how we came to be by exploring the world around us. Join me as I explore the world and draw closer to the One who created it all.
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