Flee Idolatry

We are prone to wander, prone to leave the God we love. One theologian put it that our hearts are idol-factories. We must be vigilant of our hearts. Keeping ourselves from idols means keeping the living God central to what we believe and how we live, giving Him the glory due His name. 

keep yourselves from idols (1 John 5:21, NKJV)

The writer of Judges closes with words of indictment and need: “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judg. 21:25). Ezekiel closes his prophetic word with a name of great promise, “THE LORD IS THERE” (Ezekiel 48:35). Paul and other epistle writers frequently end with a benediction that lifts the readers’ eyes to God or expresses words of encouragement.

How does John wrap up his first epistle? What does he want ringing in our ears? “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen” (1 John 5:21). It seems like an odd and abrupt way to end his letter, raising a topic that he has not mentioned earlier. Yet idolatry has everything to do with what John has written.

Idolatry is the worship of false gods, something prohibited by God in the Ten Commandments (Exo. 20:3-6). We tend to think of idols as objects made of metal or wood or stone but idols can also be whatever we give acclaim or allegiance, even worship in some way.

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