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."
What does it mean to worship?
The CSB uses "worship” 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)?
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
1. : an object of extreme devotion
2. : a representation or symbol of an object of worshipbroadly: 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
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
👤 False God
"the subduer”; required human sacrifices
consort of Ba’al
water god (1/2 fish 1/2 man)
fertility god; had 50 names
other names: Molech, Milcom, Molek
ruling god in Greek mythology; god of the sky
god of trade and trickery; son of Zeus
goddess of the hunt and moon; daughter of Zeus
- 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 antichrist, mentioned in 1 John 2:1922; 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
- 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 24:1124 - 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
Note: Remember, 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 and Footnotes
- "worship". Merriam-Webster Dictionary; visited December 2019
- "Strong's H5647". Blue Letter Bible; visited December 2019
- "idol". Merriam-Webster Dictionary; visited December 2019
- "god". Merriam-Webster Dictionary; visited December 2019
- "deity". Merriam-Webster Dictionary; visited December 2019
- "Strong's G473". Blue Letter Bible; visited December 2019