Idol Worship is Subtle

Chapter 3 begins about 15-30 years after this dream interpretation.  The king has an even bigger reach, he has dominion over more nations.  His power could potentially reach around the entire earth, because of the authority he was given.

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We can see the king has claimed wholeheartedly the word from God that stated he was the greatest monarch on the face of this earth.  The problem is he took it too far and too literally.  Instead of honoring God for what he blessed him with he instead chose to create an image, an idol, that encompassed all the traits he wanted his god to have.

Why do people create idols anyway?  We create idols because we really don’t know what to do with God in the first place.  We don’t know how to “fit” him into our lifestyle.  It’s sort of like receiving an awkward gift, you try to make it fit in, you try to figure out where to place it in your home, but no matter what you can’t make the thing work.  It just doesn’t fit in, so you take it back and find a replacement, you replace the gift with something else that makes you happy.

That is what we do with God we try to make him fit into our lives, and when he doesn’t we find a replacement.  God does not conform to what we “think” he should be.  We forget that we are created in HIS image, he is not created in our image.

We did not create God to be what we wanted, He created us to be what He wanted.

What we end up doing then is creating a god that meets our needs, a god that fits into our life plans, a god that doesn’t require us to change or to conform.  We create a god that allows us to be who we want to be.

So, if you want to have same sex marriages, just create a god that will allow it.  If you don’t want to set aside time to go to church and worship on a regular basis, then create an idol that will tell you its ok to miss church.

Humans were created to worship, and because of that we will bow down and worship, its just a matter of who or what you will worship. 

As you study the word this week, I recommend you add to it Romans 1:18-23 for a clear picture of this very topic. 

The hard truth about worshipping God is that we must come to terms with reality.  When we spend time with Jesus we quickly realize that we fall short in every way.  We realize that we are sinful, and we are completely inadequate.  If you are not able to accept this reality then it means you reject it, and in turn reject Christ.

So we have this need to worship, the God we should worship requires us to give up the sin we want to hang on to and we don’t like that so we concoct a god who is more forgiving and will bend to what we want.

An example of this is the people of Canaan worshipped Baal; this god was created so the people could give into and be justified for their sexual desires.  All forms of sexual acts became forms of worship.  They created a god that did not convict them of being sexual deviates.

Any type of idol worship takes away from true worship of God.  Idol worship is so repulsive to my God that he literally made it the first and second commandments.  1) Have no other gods before me.  2) Make no graven image.  First and foremost, before you do anything else, these two commands must be honored.

What is idol worship anyway?  It is bowing down to, worshipping, and sacrificing to images.  It is worshipping, swearing by, walking after, and speaking in the name of other gods.  It is looking to, serving, fearing, and sacrificing to other gods. 

And it is worshipping the true God via images, worshipping his angels, and heavenly hosts.  It is worshipping devils, dead men, placing idols in your heart, coveting and sensuality.

All these things take the glory of God and change it into an image that we want God to be.  Expecting God to be or do anything other than what his word mandates is idol worship. 

What you spend more time doing than the time you spend worshipping God is a good indication of where your heart is.  If you spend more time washing, waxing, and shining up your vehicle than you do in the presence of God you just might have an idol problem.  What excuse do you allow to keep you from worshipping God in his temple?  Those excuses just might indicate an idol problem.   If your hobby is your excuse for missing church, you might have an idol problem.

In the dream Neb was represented by gold.  Gold was used heavily throughout his empire, and in this section of scripture we will read that he created a gold statue.  This statue was a tall, vertical pillar of sorts; nine feet wide and 90’ high.  It says gold, but it would be gold overlay.

An interesting “fun fact”-this image is the first idol to be built after Daniels prophesy of the end times.  In Rev. 13 it talks about another image that will be constructed, this image will be the last image created just before Jesus returns.

The first monarch set up an image and the last will follow suit.  Also, notice the size is 60 x 6.  The image in Revelations will be 666.  Six is the number of man and seven is the number of perfection and is reserved for God.

King Neb constructed this huge image, his goal was to unify his kingdom.  He wanted everyone to come together in agreement.  So, he called together a global alliance, a united nation type of meeting, an economic summit.  This summit included all the people currently in leadership, throughout his kingdom. 

This summit included: princes, governors, captains, judges, treasurers, counsellors, sheriffs, all rulers of the provinces.  Everybody who was anybody was in attendance.  With all these men gathered.  The ceremony commences. 

The kings wanted 1) unity among his leadership.  2) He wanted them to be bow to him in loyalty, to be faithful to him.  3) With so many diverse gods he wanted to make sure there is unity in faith among this kingdom.  Religion can cause a great division-he wanted to avoid this for the sake of his empire. 

They were all there for the big event, to witness the unveiling of this new memorial.  This amazing, expensive work of art.  This is an unveiling ceremony.

Can you relate to an unveiling ceremony?  You know what that is?  What if you attended an unveiling ceremony of a memorial that would represent national unity?  With all the turmoil that is taking place today, this would be welcomed, unity, agreement over anything would be welcomed.  To have a national leader build a monument that represented every citizen equally would be amazing to witness.  History in the making.

Continue to imagine being at that ceremony and being asked to bow down and take a moment of silence.  The live orchestra is playing off to the side.  Everyone agrees to the “moment of silence” and they each take a bended knee, after all everything this image represents is good.

Can you begin to understand just how easy it is to bow to a false god.  Idolatry is subtle, people barely know they are partaking in it.  Looking at these verses we see all these “big shots” and not even one had the guts to say NO. 

They were herded in like sheep to the slaughter and just starred at this massive structure that they are now expected to bow down and worship.  They had no connections to this thing, but still followed suit.  We must keep our jobs, we can’t be humiliated, just go along with it it’s not that big of a deal.

Let’s think for a moment how easily this could happen in the future.  As everyone bows for a “moment of silence” the decree goes out that this image will be worshipped.  You are already in the position of worship, will you stay in that position or will you stand, knowing full well you will have a target on you—you will be killed.  How will it be when this day comes, and it for certain will.

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