Do you Love Me more than these?

John 21:15 ” Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”  What is it that we put before Christ? Is it ourselves, children, family or is it earthly gain? Covetousness leads to idolatry. Putting ourselves or others before Christ is idolatry.

Lev 19:4 ” Do not turn to idols, nor make for yourselves molten gods: I am the Lord your God.”  Lets examine then. What are idols?

Hebrew = ‘Elil – to be weak, deficient, used to describe vain objects of worship ( Isaiah 2:8  ) , anything worthless empty or vain ( 1 Chronicles 16:26 )

Greek : Eidolon – A form, appearance. An image or representation whether corporeal or mental. The greek – used for a statue of man or even for a concept of the mind in the NT it stands for idol or image set up to be worshipped as a god ( Acts 7:41, 15:20, 1 Cor 12:2, Rev 9:20) Also stands for false god, usually worshipped in the form of an image. ( 2 Cor 6:16, 1 Thess 1:9, 1John 5:21)

The Apostle Paul in ( 1 Corinthians 8:4 ) Says that an idol is nothing in the world yet it held significance to its worshipers as an object of worship. Paul meant that an idol is not a representation of a true God. Idols may be material as they may be the works of men’s hands, such as statues of gold, or the moon. But as to their being of any excellency which might deserve divine worship they are nothing.

As Moses gave specific instruction to the children of Israel that they were not to imitate, copy or do what the  Canaaanites did. They were to completely disposes the entire land as they were not to assimilate themselves with the custom’s of the peoples of the lands for they were detestable practices which included children sacrifice, sorcery, witchcraft, seeking to determine the will of the gods by examining and interpreting omens, soothsaying, conjuring spells, being a medium, being a spiritist or calling up the dead. These were the reason the Lord was going to drive the Canaanites out of the land.

The moment we begin to compromise the word of Yahweh, we grieve the Spirit we become disjointed and we anger the Lord. Our Father wants us to prosper, however we must learn to humble ourselves, listen and obey Him.

Now, Moses is dead and Joshua has been appointed to take charge. The Lord instructs Joshua to be strong and of good courage 3 times so that he was to get the point that God would never leave nor forsake him as long as he walked in the commandments of the Lord. The children are strong up until the death of Joshua. They then begin to compromise and dwell among the Canaanites. ( Jud 2:11-13 ) Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of they Lord, and served the Baals; and they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the Lord to anger. They forsook the Lord and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.

The gods of Canaan were plentiful Baal, a farm god of rain and storm, his name meaning “lord, possessor.” His cult at Phoenicia included animal sacrifices, ritual meals, and licentious dances. Chambers catered to sacred prostitution by men and women ( 1kin. 14:23,24 2 kin 23:7). Anath, sister-wife of Baal, also called ashtoreth (Astarte), patroness of sex and war, was called “virgin” and “holy” but was actually a “sacred prostitute.” many other gods besides these also attracted worship. During these days there was no king in Israel; “everyone did what was right in his own eyes”

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