Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
November 9, 1998
Last Updated :
January 3, 2009
Modern Man's Idol Worship: Rock Stars, Sports And Olympics, Historical Idols, Hollywood Idols, Teachers, Satan Claus, Easter Bunny, Automobiles, Nimrod And The Tower Of Babel, Temple And Building Worship, Wide Gates And False Prophets, The IRS And Filthy Lucre, Earthquakes, Cities and Skyscrapers, King Nebuchadnezzar's Abasement, King Herod's Horrible Death
Idols. We are all familiar with the word. In our modern world, there are all kinds of idols, yet some of them are not so obvious. For some people, an idol might be a popular musical artist. The now-deceased Elvis Presley, known to his die-hard fans as 'the king', is one such example. Many years after his presumed death, Presley's music is still extremely popular. For other people, their idol might be a favorite sports player who has repeatedly scored a lot of points and thus led his team on to victory; or perhaps he has broken a certain world record, and won not only a place of worship in the sports Hall Of Fame, but he has also been given a little statuette to continually remind him of his accomplishment; yet another idol. The Olympics are the epitome of human idol worship. In this grandiose event, the flesh is placed upon a pedestal, as participants from around the world unite in order to demonstrate the power and form of their bodies; all without God. These people would do well to remember the words of the Holy Bible:
"For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not."
Romans 7:18, KJV
"For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you."
1 Peter 1:24-25, KJV
The world of politics is very much the same. Every country has a long list of historical heroes who are used as role models for the upcoming generation. These men and women of the past are set up as shining examples; and used to teach children proper values, as well as to instill a strong sense of national patriotism, loyalty and self-sacrifice for the benefit of all. In the United States of America, these idols include figures like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King Jr. In the nations' capitals of the world we find many idols, or statues and monuments, dedicated to such people. Often they contain certain profound words which were once spoken by these people.
The movie industry of Hollywood, California, U.S.A. also provides us with a plethora of cinematographic idols who rise and fall like the waves of the sea. Just like famous sports personalities, musical artists and television actors and actresses, every year, Hollywood rewards its participants with a little statue, or idol, called Oscar, to serve as a constant reminder that they are the best in their area of performance. So from the Grammy Awards, to the Emmy Awards, to the Academy Awards, to the stars on Hollywood Boulevard, pride and human accomplishment are worshipped like idols. Of course, there are many other such rewards which are given in order to demonstrate recognition of one's accomplishments in this life, such as those offered for great scientific achievements, for diplomatic achievements such as the Nobel Peace Prize, for great literary works, etc. Contrary to the Holy Scriptures, all of these things glorify man and his accomplishments, and have very little or absolutely nothing to do with glorifying God:
"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:31, KJV
"But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
2 Corinthians 10:17, KJV
Sadly, children do not escape this blatant idolatry in our modern society. One small example is a child in school who might idolize a favorite teacher he or she particularly admires. Perhaps the child may have a crush on that teacher, or desire to be just like them when he or she grows up. In most cases, this infatuation is a temporary phase in their lives which will eventually pass; yet still, the Apostle Paul offered some sound advice when he wrote that we should only seek to follow those who themselves follow the ways of Christ, and sadly, many modern teachers do not do this by any means whatsoever:
"Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ."
1 Corinthians 11:1, KJV
Of course, one of the worst kinds of idolatry found amongst the younger generation, is that of the widespread worship of Santa Claus; who many Christians prefer to refer to as Satan Claus, in order to expose the terrible deception which has been foisted upon the children of the world through this yearly tradition. Due to modern merchants and other ungodly forces, the miraculous birth of our Saviour so long ago has been overshadowed by the devil in the red suit! Popularizing the so-called 'Easter Bunny' during the Easter season is yet another form of idol worship in America which detracts from the true significance of the Easter event; that being the Resurrection of our blessed Saviour. Surely, Satan has done his best to try to replace our Christian values with pagan counterfeits, and many Americans have stood in line in order to receive their yearly dose of delusion.
Another kind of idolatry which comes to mind, is that of the worship of the creations of our own hands; such as machines, new scientific inventions, certain beautiful buildings, etc. We have all heard someone at one time or another worshipping their own automobile by proudly describing its many features for us; such as how powerful the engine is, how many miles per gallon it can obtain, the quadraphonic sound system, the stylish hubcaps, the soft leather interior, etc. Some people enjoy 'cruising' around town just so they can show off their new idol amongst all of the other idols vying for attention. In the old days, before the advent of automatic washing and waxing facilities, people would spend hours bowed down to their idol as they worked feverishly to give it a new coat of wax like a man seeking to please a maiden.
Like the ancient Tower of Babel, modern towering structures of steel and glass pierce upward towards the heavens, as if to say in a subtle way like Nimrod of old, that man is still defying the Almighty, and trying to be his own god. Like the symbolic thorns in the Parable of the Sower, man bustles about in the artificial environment of his cities, totally occupied by the cares of this life, ignoring his God, and stabbing his Creator in the heart; just as the thorns were likewise placed upon our Lord's head. Consider the following verses:
"And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it...And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection."
Luke 8:7, 14, KJV
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
Matthew 6:34, KJV
"Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil."
James 4:13-16, KJV
In the eleventh chapter of the Book of Genesis, we read of the first failed attempt by Nimrod to create a world without God. Like evil men today, he too wanted to make a name for himself, instead of praising and worshipping the Name of the Almighty; thus he began the construction of Babel:
"And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar"
Genesis 10:8-10, KJV
"And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth."
Genesis 11:1-9, KJV
From Babel, to the pyramids of ancient Egypt, to the pagan temples of Greece and Rome, to our modern skyscrapers today, we find the very same building worship occurring. These latter two cultures were also notorious for their adoration of the human body, and manifested their worship of the same through the multitudinous statues and monuments which lined their streets, decorated their plazas and filled their many temples. In fact, it is with the Greek culture that the Olympics find their origin. The proud Caesars of Rome took this a step further and were even reverenced as demigods, or gods in human form.
The Jews were not immune to the ungodly worship of human structures. Aside from their worship of the pagan gods of their heathen enemies, they too yielded to the temptation of idolizing their own buildings. In fact, in both the Gospels and the Book of Acts, we discover that even the Lord's own Disciples were apparently in awe of the glory of the Temple in Jerusalem, one gate of which was known as 'Beautiful', from the Greek word 'horaios'. According to Easton's Bible Dictionary, this gate is supposed to have been the door which led from the court of the Gentiles to the court of the women. It was quite massive, and was covered with plates of Corinthian brass. The Lord's Disciples must have been greatly surprised when Jesus prophesied of the Temple's destruction:
"And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."
Matthew 24:1-2, KJV
"And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."
Luke 21:5-6, KJV
"And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;...And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him."
Acts 3:2, 10, KJV
Why is it that Jesus Christ pronounced this prophecy against the Temple in Jerusalem; against the very complex which the self-righteous Jewish religious leaders claimed was the House of God? As I explain clearly in other articles, quite simply, it is because, instead of accepting the Salvation which could only be freely obtained through the Messiah, those proud, stubborn religionists chose to cling to their traditions, and to the physical rock of the Temple, instead of clinging to the True Spiritual Rock; that is, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. God never wanted a physical Temple to begin with; He only allowed it at King David's insistence; and even King Solomon, who built the Temple, realized that it was not really necessary or desired by the Lord. It was only puny man who felt he needed something physical in order to properly honor the God of Heaven; just like the pagan nations around them who built temples to their false gods.
From the days of King Solomon until now, the first two Temples, both of which were destroyed by the enemies of the Israelites as a clear statement from the Lord; as well as the desire for a Third Temple, have actually stood in the way of the Salvation of the Jews. It became, and will again become, if a third one is built, an idol, a stumbling block, a rock of offense which caused, and will cause, the Jews to reject their true Messiah who has already come in the flesh, and who will soon return in the Power and Glory of His Father with the holy Angels! This powerful message is very clear from one end of the Bible to the other; yet sadly, the Jews have purposely chosen to ignore it! Here is the Scriptural proof of my words:
"Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these."
Jeremiah 7:4, KJV
"For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples; and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof."
Hosea 8:14, KJV
"Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?"
Isaiah 66:1, KJV
"And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying, Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in? Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle. In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar?"
2 Samuel 7:4-7, KJV
"But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?"
1 Kings 8:27, KJV
"Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,"
Acts 7:48, KJV
"Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."
John 4:21-24, KJV
"Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder."
Matthew 21:43-44, KJV
"I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan."
Revelation 2:9, KJV
"Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee."
Revelation 3:9, KJV
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, KJV
Those final verses clearly reveal what will be the evil end result of believing in a lie, and building a temple to God when He never ever desired such a thing. If God is clearly opposed to any physical structures being built in His honour as the previous verses demonstrate, what then is the True Church? What is the True Temple of God? While I have amply provided an answer to this question in such articles as 'Is God A Racist?' and 'Where Are The First Century Churches?', allow me to once again share some of the key verses with you which point the way to Scriptural Truth, and not to what you hear from modern-day false prophets who stand in their pulpits and spout off their poisonous platitudes. As you will see, Jesus Christ Himself is the Spiritual Rock of His purely Spiritual Temple, made up of you and me:
"And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ."
1 Corinthians 10:4, KJV
"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:"
1 Peter 2:5-9, KJV
"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, KJV
"And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."
2 Corinthians 6:16-18, KJV
"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
2 Corinthians 5:1, KJV
"Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name."
Revelation 3:12, KJV
"And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it."
Revelation 21:22, KJV
Sadly, today, in modern Christianity, or to be more precise, modern churchianity, we find the very same thing happening. Millions of dollars are spent every single year as proud religionists seek to build bigger and greater abominations which will impress the congregation down the street and draw them into their wide doors. How much that reminds me of the serious warning issued by the Lord so long ago:
"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
Matthew 7:13-14, KJV
What I find quite interesting, is the fact that right after this, in the very next verses, the Lord issues His warning regarding false prophets; as if to suggest that these false prophets, these false religionists who cry 'Lord, lord' and 'Come to our church', are the very keepers of the wide gates which lead to destruction!:
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."
Matthew 7:15-20, KJV
As I mention in other articles, today, organized religion, or organized division as I prefer to call it, is more interested in numbers, in quantity, and not so much in the spiritual quality of its members. The Truth of the Gospel is being sacrificed and compromised in many churches; all for the sake of gaining more filthy lucre from their members; after all, if one preaches the pure Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he won't be left with very many followers by the time he is done. Thus, many preachers soften the message in order to keep that money rolling in the doors. If only they would follow the sound advice found in the Epistles:
"Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;...Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;"
1 Timothy 3:3, 8, KJV
"For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;...Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake."
Titus 1:7, 11, KJV
"Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;"
1 Peter 5:2, KJV
"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
1 Timothy 6:10, KJV
Because many of these men of God have gone a whoring after the almighty dollar, as Paul clearly warns in the previous verse, they are now being pierced through with many sorrows; particularly when the IRS, (Internal Revenue Service in the United States Of America), begins to audit their church finances, and encounters embarrassing discrepancies in their bookkeeping.
Returning to the topic of building worship, despite man's best attempts, which are truly feeble in the sight of the Lord, all God has to do is to give one strong blast from His nostrils to shake the Earth, and their thorny pillars of glory which thrust into the sky will come falling down. In fact, God's Holy Word suggests that this is what the future may hold for all of man's monolithic structures which scrape the boundary between sky and Earth. Consider the following very revelatory verses:
"Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made: And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not. Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures. And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall utterly abolish. And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth."
Isaiah 2:8-21, KJV
"And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground."
Isaiah 21:9, KJV
"And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every high hill, rivers and streams of waters in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall."
Isaiah 30:25, KJV
"And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?"
Revelation 6:12-17, KJV
"And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication."
Revelation 14:8, KJV
"And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found."
Revelation 16:17-20, KJV
"And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird."
Revelation 18:2, KJV
"See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire."
Hebrews 12:25-29, KJV
"And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."
Luke 13:2-5, KJV
Despite these stiff warnings found in God's Word, foolish man continues in his idolatrous ways. From one end to the other, the Bible is one continuous story of man's worship of man and of the creations of his own hands. We find political leaders, who in their own pride, idolized themselves due to their great riches and power; and in other cases, we find leaders who were worshipped by their own people as gods. One clear example of the former, which I discuss in 'The Kings Of The North And The South', as well as in the series 'The Seven Heads', is that of Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. This proud king's ego was so inflated, that he had a huge idol constructed in the plain of Dura; which he then forced his subjects to worship. In 'The Seven Heads' series, I suggest that this great statue may actually have been a likeness of the king himself; designed after the image the king had seen in a night vision in Daniel chapter two. Not too long ago, I discovered that a great base has been discovered in Iraq; and that some people speculate that it may actually be a part of the Babylonian king's idol.
As we read in the Scriptures, the Lord was very patient with King Nebuchadnezzar. In fact, He even used this king as His rod of judgment and chastisement against the rebellious land of Judah; however, when Nebuchadnezzar uttered the following boastful statement, the Lord apparently felt that this proud monarch had passed the point of no return in his vanity; and thus, God drove the king from his kingdom for a period of seven years; until he learned the lesson of humility which the Lord was trying to teach him:
"The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws."
Daniel 4:30-33, KJV
Imagine the shock of suddenly hearing a voice from Heaven which tells you that you are about to feel the judgments of the Lord. In fulfillment of the prophecy, Nebuchadnezzar was indeed cast out of his kingdom. The king apparently suffered some form of temporary insanity, and acted like a wild beast for seven years until he had learned his lesson in humility. If you read Daniel chapter four in its entirety, you will discover that what is amazing about this story, is the fact that the Lord had warned the king through a dream, that this was going to happen to him if he didn't manifest a little more humility; yet despite this fact, the king still yielded to his pride; and thus he suffered a great fall, as per this verse from the Book of Proverbs:
"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."
Proverbs 16:18, KJV
While in Daniel chapter four, Nebuchadnezzar's abasement and subsequent return to his position of power and royalty was described as a tree which was cut off at the roots for a period of seven years, in the seventh chapter of the same book, it is revealed in another way. Consider the following verse:
"The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it."
Daniel 7:4, KJV
After the Babylonian king had communed with the wild beasts for seven years, he realized that it would be much wiser of him to walk humbly before the Lord; and thus we find him later saying:
"And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase."
Daniel 4:34-37, KJV
In the New Testament, we find another excellent example of idolatry manifested in the form of extreme man worship. In this case, the crime was deemed so severe, that the Lord took swift action, and the person involved lost his life. I am of course referring to the murderous Jewish King Herod. In Acts chapter twelve we find the following account:
"And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost."
Acts 12:21-23, KJV
As we continue this discussion in part two of this series, we will be taking a look at God's anger, chastisement in this current life, the snare of pagan gods and idolatry, iconoclasts, secular humanism, the wickedness of the human heart, worldliness and materialism, the power of words, the invisible battle and more. I hope that you will join me.
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