The SHEPHERD | Danilo Q. Junco
At the outset if we see those images or idols made of wood, stone, porcelain and so forth, they are just as natural though they have eyes but cannot see, ears but cannot hear, hands but cannot move, feet but cannot walk, and mouth but cannot speak.
Gentile nations except Israel have been practicing this kind of worship to their so-called gods and even other creations that God has created like the sun, moon, stars, among others, according to the history of mankind.
But God has warned already to the Jewish people during the time of Moses that when they had conquered the Canaanites, the people living in that land, which He gave to them as their possession that they should not adopt the practices of these people whom He hated most like idol worship, witchcraft such as divination, fortunetelling, sorcery, praying for the dead or necromancer, offering their eldest son or daughter to their god Molech and so forth (Deuteronomy 18:9-12).
God categorically said that behind these idols are demons and He could not tolerate to have rivals as He alone deserves full or total worship as He is the creator of all things (Deuteronomy 32:16-17; Psalm106:34-39).
When the Jewish people through Joshua conquered Canaan, though only some of the land they had occupied, one thing they disobeyed God’s command not to follow the practices of these Gentile folks living in Canaan which is now Israel.
Therefore, God allowed them to be oppressed by these people and when they cried out to Him, He raised up leaders to deliver them from their enemies. This kind of life they have has been going on till the time when God raised up Samuel as a prophet, priest, and judge in the epoch of King Saul and especially King David of Israel.
During King Solomon’s time he also broke God’s command not to worship other gods or idols due to his Gentile wives who brought along with their gods which he worshipped. Through his sins, God judged him by dividing Israel’s kingdom into two during his son Rehoboam, the northern kingdom comprising the 10 tribes of Israel and the southern kingdom, composed of two tribes Judah and Benjamin.
Through idol worship and other sins, God judged both the northern and southern kingdoms by invasion of the empire nations of Assyria and Babylon, respectively.
Many of the Jewish people were killed by the swords, others were made slaves and exiled to the captors’ lands but God spared the remnants and let them return to Israel, especially those who were exiled in Babylon after 70 years of captivity.
After 800 to 1000 years, the Jewish people learned their lesson not to worship gods or idols but failed to recognize and receive Jesus Christ as their Messiah or King, Savior and God. Again, millions of them were killed when the Roman Empire soldiers invaded Israel and destroyed their temple in 70 A.D. led by Gen. Titus and those who had remained alive were scattered in the four corners of the world.
After 2000 years God’s prophecies based on the Bible that the Jewish remnants would return to their land Israel were fulfilled on May 14, 1948. Now, the Jews won’t worship idols or other gods anymore but only the God of Israel and others have received Jesus Christ as their Messiah, Savior and God.
Apostle Paul also reminded the believers in Corinth about offering sacrifice at the altar as the Gentiles have done to offer it to their idols which in reality they are offering it to demons in comparison to partake the Lord’s Supper or communion as the bread representing Christ body and the wine to His blood remembering His death on the cross that He was judged by God because of our sins (1 Corinthians 10:18-22).