“With whom the LORD had made a covenant, and charged them, saying, Ye shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them (2 Kings 17:35)
Are you a new creature in Christ? Have you been brought into the New Covenant? Is the Lord your God and are you His person? Are you a royal priest and part of God’s holy nation?
Then here is your covenant charge:
1. Do not fear other gods.
What does that mean? Don’t allow yourself to believe they have any power to affect your life in any way, good or bad.
But doesn’t the devil go about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour? Yes, but he only has as much power as we give him. If we are in Christ and we keep ourselves, that wicked one cannot touch us. (1 John 5:18) Satan can attack us but he gets through to us only when we believe his delusions and and yield to his devices.
There are other gods that men fear such as money. They believe that money buys happiness. They are consumed by a pursuit of riches. Do they fear money? They fear being without money, and therefore place a tremendous importance upon its gain. They are willing to use unjust means to possess it. They will steal, cheat, and kill for it. It is god to them because of the power they ascribe to it.
2. Do not bow yourselves to them.
Bowing down implies our submission to someone or something. When Satan tempted Jesus he told Him to bow down. The devil never shows us something just for us to look at it. He wants to stir in us a desire which will lead us to act. He wants to set our body in motion. The members of our bodies can be instruments of righteousness or unrighteousness. We can spend our time and energy and resources in the pursuit of godliness or ungodliness. Either way, we give ourselves to something.
3. Do not serve them.
Behind every earthly idol is a devil who spreads his unique table. There are some spreads that are filled with the promise of fame and fortune, others that cater to lust and violence. There are gods many and lords many who are looking for loyal adherents. Every person is known by what they serve. When we get saved we are no longer servants of sin. We have been called out of darkness and into God’s marvelous light. To us there is now only one God, even the Father, and one Lord, even our Savior Jesus Christ. We no longer seek fellowship with devils. We exclusively eat at the table the Lord spreads for us in the presence of our enemies. We are known by the company we keep.
4. Do not sacrifice to them.
The height of worship is sacrifice. To willingly lose your life for the sake of another is an act of adoration like none other. The gods of Canaan required sacrifice. Some even called for their worshippers to sacrifice their children. People will do horrible things to prove their devotion to their god. Some worship at the altar of their own pleasure or anger or hatred. They want to show everyone how devoted they are to their controlling passion. They glory in their shame. They will disfigure their own body and face to declare who or what they live for. The emblems of their idol is upon them.
When we get saved we have been delivered from our idols. We are “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thes. 1:9). Our covenant with the gods of this world has been dissolved and we now have entered into covenant with our Redeemer God. It is Him we now fear, bow down to, serve, and sacrifice for. He alone is worthy of us and all that we have. True worship can now begin. Keep His charge.