“ You will not have other gods in front of me. Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any likeness of the things that are in heaven above, that are in the earth beneath, and that are in the waters, which are lower than the earth. You will not bow down to them and you will not serve them; for I, Jehovah your God, am a jealous God …” – Exodus 20: 3-6.
” My people consult his wood, and his staff speaks to him; For the Spirit of prostitution misleads them, and they prostitute themselves far from their God. ” – Hosea 4: 12.
From these biblical passages above, there emerges a practice: idolatry. And a great observation is made. Since ancient times, one of the practices to which man is bound is Idolatry. Yes, Idolatry. Even in the Bible (in ancient times) it existed; at the very time of Jesus Christ in the Bible (during his Messianic mission on earth) it existed; after Jesus Christ, she always existed. And even today, in today’s world, idolatry continues to exist.
This great observation leads us to ask ourselves the following questions:
What is the definition of idolatry? How did it manifest in biblical stories? How does it manifest today in our present world? What is God’s look about idolatry?
These are the questions that will be the subject of our series of study whose theme is: IDOLATRY TO THE EYES OF GOD. However, in this article, it will be a question of treating the question: What is the definition of idolatry?
WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF IDOLATRY?
In the term “idolatry”, three words emerge: (1) -idolatry. (2) idol. (3) – idolater. We will try to define them respectively. Thus, it will be easy for us to understand: What is the definition of idolatry?
DEFINITION OF IDOLATRY
Idolatry, from the Latin, ” idololatria ” is a borrowed word from ancient Greek (idol in Greek). It is understood in several senses:
– We call idolatry: an adoration of idols, the worship of the gods of a polytheistic religion (that is to say, the belief in many gods) or animist (animism: it is a philosophical doctrine that makes the soul the principle of all vital phenomena).
– It is also called idolatry: an excessive love for a person or a thing.
DEFINITION OF IDOL
From Latin, ” idolum ”, the word ” idol ” has the following meanings:
– An idol is called: a figure, a statue representing a deity who is the object of a religious adoration, or a deity that a statue represents.
– An idol is also a rich person, powerful, etc., to whom one lavishes the honors, the praises.
– Is also called an idol: what makes the subject of the affection, the passion of someone.
DEFINITION OF IDOLATROUS
From Latin, “idololatres”, the word Idolâtre means:
– He who adores idols and honors them.
– He who renders divine worship to living beings or to things other than idols.
– one who loves someone in excess, or who values too much, who loves it (to be mad: to have a mad passion for someone or for something).
Literally, biblically, we can define idolatry, from a general point of view, as considering a living being, an object, or a thing as a god by devoting all our love to it excessively, or by giving him worship (or adoration), or by trusting us, giving it to him, or making him our first priority (giving him the first place in our life …)
In other words, on the one hand, idolatry, which is an outrage to God, finds its source in man’s refusal to recognize the sovereignty and greatness of God, creator of heaven and earth, the only true God. God forbids making representations for worship or prayer (Exodus 20: 4-5).
On the other hand, idolatry is a lying cult that leads those who practice it to a piety, which may be sincere, but in reality is superstitious and vain. Let us read Jeremiah 16:19, it is written, ” The nations will come to you from the ends of the earth, and they will say: Our fathers inherited only lies, vain idols, which serve no purpose. ” In the Bible, our reference refers to worshiping characters or creatures instead of God. Idolatry is a work of the flesh. (See Galatians 5:20)
Consider also Wikipedia’s definition of the question: what is Idolatry? “Idolatry is the worship of an image, a star, an idea or an object. It is commonly practiced among animists and polytheists in whom the representation of divinities is generalized. It consists in rendering cults, sacrifices, offerings, and prayers to the sacred thing. Idolatry is for the Abrahamic religions a corruption, an impiety to fight [archive]; the term has become derogatory or synonymous with misguidance, 1 often confused with paganism. Solar monotheism is considered idolatrous by Judeo-Christian monotheism. By extension, idolatry is defined as an attitude or ritual of veneration towards a representation or a person who has become a symbol. ” (Source / Wikipedia).
I think that man is a creature endowed with a sense of adoration. By that, I mean that he has this innate need to adore what is beyond him or impresses him. And, for my part, the source of idolatry is in the refusal of the carnal man to recognize the sovereignty and grandeur of the Creator, the only true God. (See Romans 1: 18-23.)
But how did idolatry manifest in the Bible? More specifically, what about the case of the idolatry of the people of Israel? I invite you to click on the following link for the answer to these previous questions. (Click here).