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The Lord has given us His undivided love. Should we as God’s people give Him anything less in return? In this brief clip, W. Robert Godfrey alerts us to the subtle characteristics of idolatry.
And here, too, we can remember something of the characteristic of idolatry in Israel. The characteristic of idolatry was almost never that Israel said, "We reject the Lord our God." What Israel said was, "Of course we love the Lord! Of course we serve the Lord – but why can't we also serve Baal? We have big hearts. We can be generous. We can serve Baal as well as the Lord." And the Lord is adamant through the Old Testament and the New Testament that He wants the undivided loyalty of His people. And, you know, this should not come as such a huge surprise to us. We find that in personal relationships, don't we? We are not much impressed by the spouse who says, "Of course I love you, but I love other people too." It just doesn't work that way, does it? And when we read that “the Lord is jealous,” what He means is that He has given us His undivided love, and He expects undivided love in response. That's what this warning about idolatry is really all about. God is saying over and over again, "Look at all I have done for you. I have created you. I have sustained you. I have redeemed you. And you want to share your love with Baal? I'm not putting up with that," He says. And that's what Moses is reminding them of here: "Stick to the Word to be your guide."