Questions You Should be Asking the World Around You
Picking up from where we left off.
Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, and go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I will send an angel before you and drive out the Canaanites, amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you because you are a stiff necked people and I might destroy you on the way.
When the people heard these distressing words, they began to mourn and no one put on any ornaments. For the Lord had said to Moses, “Tell the Isrealites, ‘You are a stiff necked people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I might destroy you. Now take off your ornaments and I will decide what to do with you.'”
So that’s the story of Moses from the old testament. This is one of the earliest mentions of idolatry.
Idolatry in this context, means the worship of idols that lead the people away from God. In this context, it also represents the lie that Aaron told about the calf being the one who led the Israelites out of Egypt. It’s a sharp disapproval by God, of the self imposed delusion that was implemented by Aaron and the Israelites. In a sense, God was telling the Israelites not to lie to themselves. Stop being retards essentially.
As some of you may already know, the relationship between God and his people were tumultous in the old testament. It was in Jesus’ era where things changed for the better. The new testament is what I would call “the era of a more forgiving God.” The tone is distinctly changed in the new testament and we see God take less of a direct and wrathful role. God’s tone in the New Testament is more poetic. It flows more, and it is more soothing.
Matthew 5:17 – The Fulfillment of the Law.
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of Heaven, but whoever practices and and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of Heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of Heaven.”
Matthew 5:33 – Oaths
“Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by Heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’ and your ‘no,’ be ‘no’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
So in this new testament, we see Jesus giving comfort to the people on behalf of the Lord. He was very well spoken, and very sympathetic, yet he was very stern and commanding. He acknowledged their troubles and he offered them instructions on how to conquer them. It’s why he was so respected by people in ancient times.
After Jesus was crucified, Christians used his image on the cross to honor and to remember him. Idolatry in this context, vastly differs from the one in Moses’ story. Here we remember and honor Jesus, who leads us closer to the Lord. Not away from the Lord. A more compassionate and forgiving Lord.
In Moses’ story, the worship of the calf idol was the worship of a calf representing Aaron’s lie. A fake idol.
We don’t worship the crucifix like many accusers like to say. We remember Jesus being made man by God himself.
The image of Jesus on the crucifix is a remembrance, an evidence, a symbolic documentation of God’s son being made into man. Jesus died on the cross because of his love for us. Without it, we would soon forget of Jesus’s existence, and of Jesus’s great sacrifice.
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