Sunday, 12th August 2021
Pastor Robert Morris (Guest Speaker)
Genesis 3:8 “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”
What pulls us away from the presence of God? From Genesis 3 we can see that it’s sin, which pulls us out from the presence of God. Sin is how Satan begins to form a stronghold in our lives and make us serving this stronghold instead of God.
Now some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat before me. And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity. Should I let Myself be inquired of at all by them? “Therefore speak to them, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Everyone of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the Lord will answer him who comes, according to the multitude of his idols, that I may seize the house of Israel by their heart, because they are all estranged from Me by their idols.” ’“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Repent, turn away from your idols, and turn your faces away from all your abominations. For anyone of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell in Israel, who separates himself from Me and sets up his idols in his heart and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, then comes to a prophet to inquire of him concerning Me, I the Lord will answer him by Myself. I will set My face against that man and make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of My people. Then you shall know that I am the Lord. And if the prophet is induced to speak anything, I the Lord have induced that prophet, and I will stretch out My hand against him and destroy him from among My people Israel. And they shall bear their iniquity; the punishment of the prophet shall be the same as the punishment of the one who inquired, that the house of Israel may no longer stray from Me, nor be profaned anymore with all their transgressions, but that they may be My people and I may be their God,” says the Lord God.’ ”
There are idols in our hearts and God has always been concerned of our hearts. An idol is an image and idolatry is made out of this image. Image is the root of the word imagination. If we are thinking about something more than we think about God then we have an idol in our hearts!
“Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity. Should I let Myself be inquired of at all by them?” (Ezekiel 14:3)
If we have an idol in our heart, we start to make plans according to this idol. we begin to make up stories and we try everything to cover up. Having the presumption is presuming in the grace of God. Jesus said clearly we cannot worship God and at the same time worship mammon.
“That I may seize the house of Israel by their heart, because they are all estranged from Me by their idols.” (Ezekiel 14:5)
Estrangement is referring to a woman marrying a husband but living with other men. We are married to Jesus but we are having affairs with the world and with the idols. How to we commit adultery with stones and trees? Stone are used to build alters with and trees are use to burn the offering. They use the stone and trees to offer to other gods. The only reason God used strong words to disciplines us is for our own good. Sin is spiritual adultery, it is leaving God, going and committing adultery, then coming back to sleep with God, pretending nothing happened. Sin will not affect God’s love for us, but it will affect our love for God. It’s a idol in our heart!
3. Spiritual Deafness
In the past, elders in Israel would go to the prophets to hear what God had to say to them. Why couldn’t they hear God? because of sin. Sin separates our intimacy with God. When we sin, we will begin to walk away from God then we can’t hear God. We will also start to think the voice we are hearing is from God but it’s actually the demonic spirit behind the idol.
“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2)
“And they shall bear their iniquity; the punishment of the prophet shall be the same as the punishment of the one who inquired” (Ezekiel 14:10)
The punishment of the prophet should be the same as the one who inquiry. The word punishment is the same word translated as inequity. If someone sinned and went to the prophet for council, but if the prophet didn’t caught the sin out they it meant the prophet had the same idol. The punishment of sin is inequity and it can be passed to our children for three or four generations. All sins have consequences, God takes a strong stand against sin because He knows the consequences of sin. People with idols in their heart will pretend they don’t. The word ‘actor’ is translated the same as the word ‘hypocrite’. Actors back in the times all wore masks, they spoke under the mask and pretended to be someone they were not. That’s what we all become when we have idols in our hearts.
Jeroboam built golden calves because he thought id it was inconvenient to worship God, then they might as well just make it convenient by worshipping other idols. When we start worshipping idols then we will also start feeling it’s inconvenient to worship God. We all, have some point, worship idols instead of God. Satan wants us to think that we are a bad person, but we are not a bad person. We are children of God living in a fallen earth. God is speaking to us because He wants to bring us out of the adulterous sin. Sin does not stop God’s love for us but it creates in us a distance from God.