When God gave the law to Moses, God wrote His law on stone in the form of the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20). After announcing who He is, God proceeded to charge the Israelites to “have no strange gods before me” (Ex. 20:3-5).
Why would God put such a great emphasis on this?
In the pagan world, the Romans had gods like Diana, goddess of the moon, hunt, birthing and wild animals; or Venus, the goddess of love, beauty, sex, fertility, prosperity and desire. The Greeks had their share of gods in Apollo, god of prophesy and healing and Testicles, god of sex.
After the fall, people soon turned to Idolatry: worshiping animals, statues, false gods (Amalek), and soon descended into satanic worship. This is an easy task for humans as Satan is the driving force behind Idolatry; and many fall for this nonsense as witnessed in the present day.
Now, why would God put this so high on His list of commandments?
In order to understand this, we need to probe into the being of God. Isaiah provides an excellent discussion about the person of God (Isa. 40). A serious reading of this remarkable chapter gives the reader a better comprehension of the person and spirituality of God. It is almost beyond understanding to attempt to understand how significant God is and how there is no other God like Him! Consider the Creator of the Universe and all therein; the fact that God understands the total nature of all creatures, their structure, physiology, and metabolism in its infinite detail is mind boggling.
To know in complete detail the complete organism would be a monumental task; yet, consider that God fully understands all creatures, all minerals, plants and all that exists in the physical and spiritual world. This gives us some glimpse of why God is so opposed to Idolatry.
What makes Idolatry so dangerous is the ease in which we can fall into that trap. Worse yet, even after a major event – where God rescued the Israelites from the grip of Pharaoh, saw them across the Red Sea and freed them from bondage – they soon returned to Idolatry when Moses went up to Mt. Sinai to receive the Law. They built a Golden Calf and fell into Idolatry!
How could the Israelites be so stupid?
They were no better than we are today. We are so steeped into Idolatry that it is a small wonder that the Wrath of God has not yet engulfed us. We worship people of low morality, actors, public figures and entertainers as though they are gods. Witness the pagan ritual of the Academy Awards, Abortion, a polluted entertainment industry, and we find Idolatry alive and well.
Idolatry cannot survive the challenge of true believers, though the odds seem overwhelming. But God is not mocked (Gal. 6:7) and believers must rise to proclaim the Kingdom, Power and Glory of God before it is too late.