No Idols, At All

The Second of Ten Commandments for the World

Exodus 20:4-6

March 8, 2015 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.       Introduction (Matthew 5:18)


A.    The Ten Commandments are THE most neglected part of the Bible today.

B.     Yet, these Ten absolute Statements of right and wrong are repeated in some form or another throughout every Book of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation!

C.     Most people believe they are trying to keep these Ten commandments, but they can’t even name half of them

D.    Most Christians even have the false notion that they have all been done away with – no longer necessary – which is rubbish (Matthew 5:18)

E.     These Laws of God, the Ten Commandments are for our benefit


1.      Not to save us from sin - Not to make us perfect

2.      But to humble us, and show us we need a Saviour, who could make up for all our failures and sins, by the Messiah’s perfect life and obedience to God’s Laws!

3.      And God’s laws are beneficial, because they show us how to live – how to treat each other, and especially how to worship the only God that there is!


F.      If no one else obeyed these laws, at least Christians should, because they were given to us by the same God that gave us Jesus! God did not save us to just live as we please, but by His rules.

G.    So, Over the next few weeks, let’s let GOD define for us morality. Let’s let HIM tell us what is right, and what is wrong. Let’s let God, the Creator of all things, show us how to vote in these constant referendums about abortion, and same-sex marriage.


II.    Background


A.    The Ten Commandments as written (Exodus 20:1-17)


1.      No Other gods
And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (1-3)

2.      No Idols, At All
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;  And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. (4-6)

3.      Take God’s Name Seriously
Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. (7)

4.      Keep the Sabbath
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.  (8-11)

5.      Honour thy father and thy mother
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. (12)

6.      Thou shalt not kill. (13)

7.      Thou shalt not commit adultery. (14)

8.      Thou shalt not steal. (15)

9.      Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. (16)

10.  Thou Shalt Not Covet
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's. (17)


B.     These Ten Commandments are Good


1.      The only way to have a good world, is with good laws.

2.      And the only source for good laws, is God!

3.      They are God’s Design for Government, Religion, Personal Freedoms, and a Safe Society!



a.       Have three people each try and draw a straight line by hand on an A3 sized piece of paper. All will be crooked to some degree

b.      But have someone now draw one with the use of a long, straight ruler – a standard of what straight is

c.       The point is, we all think we know how to live “good” and right, but only with a standard can we KNOW we are living good and right!


5.      So, Ethics, morality, all morality comes from the God who wrote these commandments!

6.      Listen! There is a GOD in heaven, who made everything there is, who is holy, and right, and will judge each and every one of us, so you had better be doing what GOD says!

7.      Something is wrong because GOD said it is wrong. Period. Not because it was wrong way back then, and it is okay now, NO!


C.    These Ten Commandments are God-Given (20:1)


1.      God gave these ten commandments. Not Moses, and Not a king. But the highest authority

2.      WRITTEN with the very finger of God


D.    These Ten Commandments are COMMANDMENTS (Ex 34:28)


1.      They are NOT God’s Ten Suggestions, or Ten outmoded, ancient religious superstitions.

2.      Means that they are spoken in full authority to direct you and me to do or not do something. Full stop. As in, “That’s an order!”

3.      There are God’s demands upon the human race – that’s why most people absolutely reject them

4.      And believe me, HE has all the authority He needs to make these commands


E.     These Ten Commandments Start with God – not with you and me!


1.      They explain Who God is (Ex 20:1-3)

2.      How we treat Him (Deut 6:5) – to love and respect Him

3.      And how God expects us to treat others!


F.     All the Ten Laws, can be condensed and summarised into TWO laws (Matthew 22:35-40)


1.      Love God supremely

2.      And love one another like you love yourself!


III. Review


A.    Have No Other Gods – The First Commandment (Exodus 20:3)


1.      No other gods besides the Jehovah of the Bible!

2.      There are so many gods (1Cor 8:5,6)


a.       The god of this world – Satan

b.      Demons, principalities and demonic powers

c.       There is such a major push today to worship either nothing, or anything except the God of this Book (2Thes 2:4)!


3.      Yet, There is only ONE God


a.       The God of Israel – not a European god like Thor, or American god, or African god. Psa 72:18  Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.

b.      He is THE ONLY REAL GOD that there is (Isa 44:6,8)

c.       He is the Creator God – not an evolutionist (Isa 37:16)

d.      He does not give His glory to another – doesn’t share His glory with anything or anyone else (Isa 42:8)

e.       There is only ONE Saviour (Isa 45:21)

f.       That’s why we know that Jesus is not “A” god (John 10:30)


4.      YOU MUST CHOOSE / decide / make up your mind


a.       In other words, You must choose, to NEVER put or allow ANY OTHER authority ahead of God! NOTHING, nor no one!

b.      And He wants to be known as the only God there is, and the only Person to obey. You don’t need to go from country to country, and culture to culture and religion to religion to find out what is right or wrong.

c.       To have anything in our lives that interrupt the FIRSTNESS of God in our lives, is SIN.


5.      Most everyone worries about breaking the 6th, 7th, and 8th commandments…


a.       Thou shalt not kill.

b.      Thou shalt not commit adultery.

c.       Thou shalt not steal.


6.      …But skip over and ignore the very first Commandment, “Have No Other Gods”!


IV. Message - The Second Commandment - No Idols (Exodus 20:4-6)


A.    This continues on with the point of the First Commandment – it is like the First. “Have no other god”, and “NO IDOLS of another god, and not even an idol OF GOD!” Very clear folks!

B.     Most people in this room this morning believe they have no idols in their lives, or homes. That just is NOT the case. Even and atheist has a life filled with idols!

C.     What is an Idol?


1.      Anything, which "dethrones" or demotes (lowers) God as he is, and puts someone/something else in His place

2.      That means, an idol is ANYTHING you think is like God


a.       Powerful objects like the Sun, the stars, the moon, the planets (Mars, Saturn, Mercury, all were gods throughout history), great mountains, storms, thunder

b.      Beautiful objects like statues of gold, silver

c.       Living things like trees were gods

d.      Powerful people (rulers and warriors usually) were seen as gods throughout history


1)      Egyptian pharaohs

2)      Chinese Emperors

3)      Roman Emperors

4)      Japanese Emperors

5)      Dalai Lamas

6)      Mary, Mother of Jesus - In 300 AD she began to be worshipped as a Mother Goddess in the Christian sect Collyridianism, and it spread throughout the Roman Catholic religion.


3.      Anything you Trust in more than God Himself


a.       Like riches (Ps 52:7; 1Tim 6:17)


1)      Psa 52:7  Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.

2)      1Ti 6:17  Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;


b.      Like other people (Ps 118:8)

c.       Like armies (Psalm 20:7)

d.      Like Doctors, Lawyers, TD’s – not that you do not need them, and use their services from time to time (like you would a mechanic), but you NEVER believe in them, and just trust them! TRUST IN GOD (Prov 3:5)!

e.       Like YOURSELF


1)      It is the seeking of doing things “my own way” as in Isa 53

2)      It is the ease at which we disagree with God (as with Jonah, who thought HE knew better than God what should happen to a million souls)

3)      The worship of self is the ultimate idolatry -- and it is the direction that all other idolatries are headed.

4)      Self is the elevation of all that is “human” (or humanism) with no room for God. "Human-ism" is a very frightening form of idolatry


4.      Anything you love more than God (Deut 6:5)

5.      Anything you obey more than God


a.       Any idol in your life is someone or something you obey over God’s commands

b.      Like your belly – spoiled brats who only live to eat, and do what makes them happy

c.       Like your lusts

d.      Like your friends

e.       Like a government (see Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) Peter said, “we ought to obey God rather than men”


6.      Anything made with men’s hands that is bowed down to, so you can worship IT, instead of the God of heaven (John 4:24)


a.       We are supposed to only worship God in spirit, and NOT in sight!

b.      Anything you use as an aid in worshipping the God of the First Commandment


1)      Some people use statues

2)      Some use stained glass windows

3)      Some use chanting

4)      Some use meditation

5)      Some use spiritual touching

6)      Those are ALL idols


c.       Never worship anything engraved, carved, hand-made, manufactured, fashioned, moulded, shaped, sculpted into a shape like statues, buildings, people, animals

d.      So, Anything you bow down in front of and honour more than God, is an idol


1)      A photo of your parents, grandparents on the wall is not an idol

2)      Unless someone passing by the photo, bows and says a little prayer to them as they pass

3)      People stepping into a cathedral, or a Church, and BOWING to the images there, or to the tabernacle at the front, are worshipping idols


7.      Anything you take care of like it is ALIVE (Psalm 115:4-8)


a.       Feeding it; Carrying it; Talking to it; Loving it

b.      Yet it is dead, and cannot help you really (Isa 46:6,7)


D.    There are Plenty of Idols Still Today


1.      In old days, people worshipped almost everything:


a.       From rain, to fertility, to thunder, to the sun, moon, stars, rocks, trees, to great warriors, and leaders, to earthquakes and solar eclipses

b.      They made gods out of whatever they could imagine: Out of gold, silver, brass, wood, rocks, statues, totem poles, mounds, etc


2.      Well, in the 21st Century, Religions are usually full of idols, false gods, false hopes


a.       Catholicism has its tens of thousands of images

b.      Buddists also have so many images

c.       Hindu images

d.      Occultic images


3.      Today’s culture (as atheistic as it claims to be) is FULL of idols – THINGS that have taken the place of the one true God (James 4:4)


a.       Music is an idol to so many people, and musicians

b.      The Oscars awards – men’s praise

c.       Brittan’s Got Talent awards

d.      Money is such an idol, that is worshipped, sacrificed for, believed in, wept over, etc

e.       Science and smartness, education itself is worshipped – a man’s BRAIN!

f.       Self-worth is an idol, where we seek the worship by others of ourselves, and our accomplishments (so many books written to help you worship YOURSELF, and “the power IN YOU)!

g.      Sports has become such a powerful idol – remember, NO GOD’S BEFORE GOD!


4.      Yet God said, His people are to have no idols, no images of God or gods at all! The world does not need any idols of any deity, at all! Not even of God Himself!


E.     New Testament Christians have ALWAYS preached loudly against breaking this commandment (Acts 19:26; Col 3:5; 1Thes 1:9)! Why?


1.      Because Idolatry makes people JUST LIKE the idol (Psalm 115:8)


a.       The product of PEOPLE’S design, and not God’s design anymore (fashion models)

b.      Say nothing wholesome or helpful

c.       See nothing eternal

d.      Can’t hear God

e.       Are immobilised – have to be constantly carried from cradle to grave

f.       Can’t speak but what has been put in their mouths – peer pressure, and political correctness

g.      In summary – stupid, dumb, thick, dense, dead!!!


2.      Because Idolatry is a damning sin (1Cor 6:9,10; Eph 5:5; Rev 21:8)

3.      Because Idolatry is Demonic (1Cor 10:19,20)


a.       Is actually attracting demons to your home

b.      Is actually the worship of a demon that is attached to that object you have sitting in your home, or pictured on your wall…

c.       Be very concerned! Why? Because having an idol brings God’s curse on your home!


4.      Because Idolatry has always destroyed a nation


a.       Worshipping Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Caesar, etc… has led to the ruin of mighty nations (if it weren’t for the help of the USA)

b.      Worshipping any idol brings God’s curse on that nation – all third world nations are idolatrous. The problem is not just religion, it is their idolatry!


5.      Because Idolatry is Cursed (Exod 20:5,6; Isa 42:17)


a.       It provokes God (Dt 4:23-25). It pushes God too far! Just like it would YOU, and your WIFE and your best friends!

b.      What idolatry is like…


1)      It is like getting married, and then loving just the picture of your wife, and not loving her in reality

2)      It is like pornography

3)      It is like getting married, and then collecting and putting up pictures of other beautiful women all around your house

4)      It doesn’t have to be a load of pictures either – JUST ONE PICTURE of another women at your desk in front of you for you to think about and share your affection with is what an idol is like to God!

5)      It is like a woman NOT wanting to be with her husband, but with other men

6)      It is a sign NOT that you are worshipping God, but that you really HATE Him (Ex 20:5)


c.       It brings God’s judgment upon your family for up to four generations!

d.      Want to know why?

e.       Do you want God’s blessings on your family? Get rid of anything that is right now interfering with your relationship with God – anything that is cooling you off; anything that has more of your life and attention than the Lord God who saved you and freed you from sin!


6.      And Because ALL idolatry is leading to ONE BIG EVENT in the near future (2Thes 2:1-4; Rev 13:13-18) – the worship of the antichrist!


a.       SATAN himself seeks to be bowed down to, and worshipped (Matthew 4:9)

b.      One day, the antichrist will make an image of himself to come alive so all the world can worship HIM instead of God!


F.      An Idol has NO Place in the Christian’s Life (2Cor 6:17,17)


1.      You don’t have to have idols sitting on the shelves of your home. They usually are sitting tall IN YOUR HEART! Eze_14:3  Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?

2.      If you think you DON’T have any idols that you are harbouring in your heart…


a.       See how slow you are to agree with God and obey GOD

b.      See how little you openly worship and honour and praise God without embarrassment

c.       Check and see how much hatred, and envy, and anger, and lust, and depression, and frustration, and envy has filled your heart! THOSE ARE YOUR IDOLS!

d.      See how angry you get when I show you God’s conclusion about YOUR god, like your GIRLFRIEND, or your JOB, or your LOVE OF SLEEP, or your PALS, or your PHONE, or your PRIVACY, or your PORN, or your SECRET DRINK, or your DRUGS…


3.      If you DO have ANY idols (which I guarantee that you do), then you need to, right now…


a.       Repent of having them – change your mind about allowing them to be in your home

b.      Flee from idolatry (1Cor 6:14; 5:10,11). RUN AWAY from the stranglehold they have on you

c.       Break them – dump them – cast them down from their place of value and importance that you have given them (2Cor 10:5)

d.      Replace them with the worship of God alone! Bow only to the name of Jesus – worship Him (Philp 2:5). He will one day, BE YOUR JUDGE!

e.       Keep idols OUT of your home and life and mind and heart! Abstain from idols (Acts 15:20,29; 21:25).


V.    Conclusion


A.    Oh, that is just the SECOND Commandment of God


1.      Have No Other Gods

2.      No Idols, AT ALL


B.     It’s funny how the Ten Commandments are THE most neglected part of the Bible.

C.     These Laws of God, the Ten Commandments are for OUR benefit


1.      Not given by God to ruin our freedoms

2.      Not given to us to save us from sin

3.      Not even to make us perfect

4.      But to humble us, and show us we need a Saviour, who could make up for all our failures and sins, but HIS perfect life and obedience to the Laws!

5.      And they are beneficial, because they show us how to live – how to treat each other, and especially how to worship God!


D.    Questions


1.      Is there anyone in this room this morning, who will admit, they have broken these two commandments?

2.      Is there anyone ready and willing to stand before God’s judgment for such sin?

3.      Would you not rather humble yourself, and believe that GOD already made it possible to forgive you at Christ’s expense?

4.      Will you let Jesus save you now?