The Hebrew word used for Idols is “Gillulim,” a noun meaning logs, and stones, which were used to create these “shapeless, mindless, or otherwise false carvings.”
Ezekiel had contempt for these “things” because they were the reason for turning the Israelites away from God. Jehovah. The word “gillulim” may be related to a similar Hebrew expression meaning “dung pellets.”Later Jewish Observers mocked the “gillulim” as the dung idols. Signifying Idols are worthless as dung.
Eze 6:4 MKJV And your altars shall be wasted, and your pillars shall be broken. And I will make fall your slain before your idols.”
Eze 20:16 MKJV because they despised My judgments and walked not in My sabbaths; and they profaned My sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols.”
Eze 30:13 MKJV So says the Lord Jehovah: I will also destroy the idols, and I will cause their images to cease out of Noph. And there shall no more be a ruler of the land in Egypt; and I will put a fear in the land of Egypt.”
2Ki 23:24 MKJV And also Josiah put away the mediums, and the soothsayers, and the family gods, and the idols, and all the abominations which were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, so that he might perform the Words of the Law which were written in the Book which Hilkiah the priest found in the house of Jehovah.”
These wooden images, the hebrew word “Asherah” was both the name of a Canaanite fertility goddess, and a carved image. Rarely is she recognized as a goddess, but a wooden object representing her. She was to be seen everywhere in the Pagan’s camps and living quarters.
God warned his people before they entered the promised land that false religion would snare them if they did not banish them from their land. As we know, unfortunately the problem continued much of the periods of the judges and kings, although sometimes there were breaks in their attitude, and these idols were removed. The prophets consistently sounded a trumpet call to abandon such false worship, for in fact god’s judgement was coming.
Isa 17:8-14 MKJV And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, nor respect that which his fingers have made, either the Asherah or the images.”
(9) In that day his strong cities shall be like a forsaken branch, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the sons of Israel; and it will become a ruin.”
(10) Because you have forgotten the God of your salvation, and have not been mindful of the Rock of your strength, therefore you shall plant pleasant plants and shall sow it a fresh shoot.”
(11) In the day of your planting you fence it in; and in the morning you make your seed sprout. But the harvest shall be a heap in that day of grief and dying pain.”
(12) Woe to the multitude of many people, who make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations who make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!”
(13) The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters; but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased like the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.”
(14) At evening time, behold, terror! Before the morning, he is not! This is the lot of those who plunder us, and the lot of those who rob us.”
For the Israelites, punishment came swiftly, prophets like Isaiah took no pleasure in speaking these words to his people.
There is an interesting fact about the book of Isaiah. It has been described as the Bible in miniature, for it displays astonishing parallels to the Bible as a whole-in-both its structure and its message.
IDOLATRY OF THE HEART
PERHAPS YOU TEND TO THINK OF AN IDOL AS A FIGURE MADE FROM WOOD OR STONE TO WHICH PRIMITIVE PEOPLE PRAY AND OFFER SACRIFICES. BUT THE LORD DEFINED WHAT AN IDOL IS WHEN HE TOLD EZEKIEL THAT IT IS SOMETHING THAT A PERSON PUTS BEFORE HIMSELF IN A WAY THAT CAUSES HIM TO STUMBLE INTO INIQUITY.
Eze 14:5-11 MKJV so that I may capture the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are estranged from Me by their idols, all of them.”
(6) Therefore say to the house of Israel, So says the Lord Jehovah: Repent and turn from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations.”
(7) For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger who lives in Israel, who separates himself from Me and sets up his idols in his heart, and puts the stumbling-block of his iniquity before his face, and comes to a prophet to ask of him concerning Me; I Jehovah will answer him Myself. “
(8) And I will set My face against that man, and I will make him desolate for a sign and for proverbs. And I will cut him off from the midst of My people; and you shall know that I am Jehovah.”
(9) And the prophet, if he is deceived, and he speaks a word, I Jehovah have deceived that prophet. And I will stretch out My hand on him and will destroy him in the midst of My people Israel. “
(10) And they shall bear their iniquity. As the iniquity of the inquirer, so the iniquity of the prophet shall be.”
(11) So that the house of Israel may never again go astray from Me, nor be defiled again with all their transgressions, but they are to Me My people, and I will be to them for God, says the Lord Jehovah.”
IDOLS ARE NOT JUST THE CARVED OBJECTS THAT SIT IN PAGAN TEMPLES, THEY ARE GODLESS CARVINGS AND COMMITMENTS THAT RULE OUR HEARTS. THE PEOPLE OF EZEKIEL’S DAY SET UP THESE IDOLS OF THE HEART, EVEN AS THEY CONTINUED TO PRACTICE THEIR RELIGIOUS RITUALS. HAVING COMMITTED THEMSELVES TO UNGODLY PURPOSES, THEY CAME TO THE PROPHETS EXPECTING TO FIND OUT WHAT THE LORD WOULD SAY. GOD PROMISED TO CONFOUND THESE HYPOCRITES BY TELLING THEM WHATEVER THEY WANTED TO HEAR. ULTIMATELY., THEIR IDOLS WOULD FAIL AND JUDGEMENT WOULD COME.
One of the first things God told Moses was:
Exo 20:1-5 MKJV And God spoke all these words, saying,”
(2) I am Jehovah your God, who has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”
(3) You shall have no other gods before Me.”
(4) You shall not make to yourselves any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.”
(5) You shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them. For I Jehovah your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons to the third and fourth generation of those that hate me,”
You might be surprised what constitutes an idol in OUR century and that we will be held accountable for it.
My next blog will deal with that.