Escaping Biblical Idolatry, Part 3: Escaping From Biblical Addiction

So, the Nation of Israel comes out of bondage in Egypt and enters into the wilderness. She was lost in Egyptian thought and culture and seems to have lost any real contact with YAHAVAH at this time. Therefore, they had a real hard time trusting Him or being patient with Him – proven by their full-on complaining in the face of miraculous miracles. Through Moses YAHAVAH enters into a marital covenant with her.  You will remember that a marriage in Judaism is when there is a signed contract (called a ketubah) that is made and it essentially lays out all the promises and conditions of the union. This is a summary of how the ketubah or marriage covenant went down between YAHAVAH and the Nation of Israel fresh out of Egyptian idolatry.

First, YAHAVAH, through Moses, conveys they following to the Nation

Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. 7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. 8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.

Then, Moses, in the next chapter, gives the Nation what we call, the Ten Commandments but the reality is these are really called, the ten words in Hebrew.

And we read in Exodus 34:28

And he (Moses) was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten words.

Got that?

Now we tend to think that what Moses wrote were ten sentences, but in reality, the Hebrew only describes ten words and this is known and accepted.   Brother Grady points out that there are, in fact, ten exact Hebrew words are what make up the first commandment which says,

Exodus 20:2 “I am the LORD thy God (which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage) “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” )

Interestingly, the Great Shema also repeats this in (that’s right) ten more Hebrew words saying,

Hear o Israel, the Lord our God is One Lord.

This is the ten word covenant YAHAVAH had with Israel on the Mount and what were articulate thereafter were expressions of having made the first ten words operative and effective in one’s life. In other words, there is no reason to claim obedience to the first ten words if your don’t follow through on the other expressions.  Anyone who follows the first ten words from the heart would naturally follow the others. We might wonder why YAHAVAH gave these ten words then and not before?  Perhaps this has something to do with the Nation having just come out of Egyptian bondage and losing any real connection to the Living God?   

So, the ten words are given but take note – no more than 40 days passed before the Nation (Yahavah’s Bride) committed adultery by creating and worshipping a golden calf!  A golden calf while Moses is up on the mount making the covenant real and in stone. They had just said that they would do all that YAHAVAH commanded (the ten words) and in less than 40 days turned back to BREAKING the single most important part  – the first ten words:

When Moses comes down and see them engaging in idolatry with another husband (a golden calf) after they said, “We will do all that you have commanded,” he smashes the written covenant bearing YAHAVAHS ten words ostensibly breaking the marriage covenant.  

After a bunch of pleading with YAHAVAH to not destroy them or to abandon her in the wilderness, YAHAVAH has Moses create two more tablets and to bring them up to Him.  But this time, (LISTEN) but this time God does something else – this time He something more – increasingly over time – WHAt does he give?  He gives Moses more and more “laws” that serve as addedums to the Covenental Contract.  

These were NOT part of the original Covenant.  Listen – Paul says that they were added on “because of transgression,” and were to then serve as a guide for Israel to consider so if they found themselves breaking them they would . . . run back to God in the tabernacle (which we will have introduced soon) and offer sacrifice.   The Law served to remind them of their marriage contract.  This is why Paul says in Galatians 3:19

Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

Six verses later, Paul wrote,

Therefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

We could create an illustration of this in the following tale.

A benevolent man courts a woman and they agree to ten words to be their marriage covenant –both agree to no other spouses or relationships to any other than ourselves. Before the ink even dries on the agreement, the woman (Israel) commits adultery (idolatry) with another God. (the golden calf).  Why does she do this?  She chose to place her faith and love in an idol that was there for her – (another man) instead of trusting wholly in the One True Husband.

After a fit of anger the benevolent man, who loves her, says, “I will continue to be in a marriage covenant with you, under the same ten agreed-upon commands, (A guy named Moses is going to bring me some new tablets to write upon)  HOWEVER, in addition to those (which are good and right) I am also going to demand 613 other Laws to govern almost everything else you do in your life!  They will govern the way you live, eat, move, dress, treat others and on and on and on.   I am doing this because you need reminders in everything of who you should look to and trust – me.  If you could just embrace the ten words of our Covenant, these laws would be unnecessary.  But you can’t, so here you go.

And here is the thing, God seems to say, use them because they are good because they will help bring you back to me when you find yourself straying.

So, Moses will create these added laws (given again, because of transgression) while the Nation of Israel is in the wilderness.  They are NOT the covenant, they are the Law and before they enter the promised land listen to what we read,

Deuteronomy 31:24 And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, 25 That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, 26 Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, (not with the ten Words that were within and on stone) that it may be there for a witness against thee.


27 For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the LORD; and how much more after my death? 28 Gather unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them. 29 For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.

Got all that?

Well, Moses prophetic words were more than fulfilled in and through the Nation over the course of their sordid history.  Why? How?  They ran and turned to every sort of idol imaginable, proving to CONTINUE to be an adulterer in their relationship to God as they were from the beginning!

Again, what was central to all that this God of the Nation wants from them?  It is the Covenant – no OTHER GODS.  The rest of the Law (the 613 statues and ordinances) were only there to help remind the Nation when they were wandering away from the one – because they would wander away – and to see their wandering through their rebellion to the added laws, and to then repent and go to the tabernacle and offer sacrifice.  ALL BECAUSE of the Ten Word Covenant that was kept in the Ark of the Covenant.  God knew that they 613 laws were NOT expected to be obeyed – they couldn’t be, but they were given to show them drifting away so the Laws were good.

Even King David, whom God calls a man after His own heart, broke two of the major commands – he committed adultery and he had Uriah slain – but David NEVER lost sight of who His God was and He never let anything in between His heart for God.  Did David sin?  Yes.  But His HEART never broke the ten-word commandment.  This is why David was a man after God’s own heart.  NO idols.  Mistakes?  Sins?  Yes? But he never broke the first ten words. Unfortunately, INSTEAD of the  NATION following this set up they INSTEAD became adept (LISTEN) at:

“obeying the letter of the Laws given only to remind them” that they were wandering away while ignoring the most important ten-word covenantal decree! – no other Gods!  Only Him!   In other words, they kept all of the LAW, but their hearts were far from Him in terms of their Covenantal agreement. The weakness for this idolatry/adulty was there from the beginning.  It’s almost like a couple getting engaged and the wife sleeping with another man on the day of the wedding!

God knew He was betrothed to a wandering nation – from the start.  He knew that they would never be able to keep all of His added “laws” perfectly.  But that was NOT what He desired most!  He desired them to have a heart like David that they would at LEAST not run after other gods (elohiym’s) even though their flesh got week and if they sinned He longed for them to return to Him in shame.  But this is something they never did.  So YAHAVAH endured with the breaking of the other Laws.  Again, look at David, who BROKE THE LAW when,

He put the ark of this covenant outside his house!


He took an unauthorized census!


He ate the show bread reserved only for priests!


He took an unauthorized census.


He took another man’s wife!


He had her husband killed!


But King David never pursued after other Gods but from the HEART he always turned back when the Law showed him wandering.  That is why when he sinned with Bathsheda, he said in the Psalms 51

Psalm 51:4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: 

The relationship that God desires is and has always been FROM THE HEART – the first ten words.  When the heart is right, external practices, offerings and obediences were fine because they REFLECTED the heart, but what happened with the Nation then the LAW took hold without the heart?

THE LAW became “an idol.”

From Adam until forevermore God has sought “the heart of faith,” the heart that loves by faith, and a heart that will not worship any other Gods or turn to them when times get rough.  God understands that human beings cannot obey every rule, reminder and law.  That is why He sent His Son.  

But He knows the hearts of those who have faith and love for Him and Him alone and who refuse to worship anything or anyone else.

I pray that this is you.  

Michael Heiser called this mindset, “believing loyalty.”

When a people or person has no faith or interest in God or loses faith in the strength, capabilities or power of their God, they will turn to others and the first ten words are lost.  It’s called idolatry and/or adultery in the Bible. David committed adultery with his flesh, but he never committed it in His heart against God.  This is so important in understanding how God sees and works with us

So, what happened in the Covenantal marriage of YAHAVAH to Israel?  Over time they disregarded the importance of “believing loyalty” and started to try and please God through obedience to the Laws He gave only to warn them of wandering and to get back to the Ten Words.

In other words, they took the Law that was attached to “the outside of the ark of the Covenant (symbolizing it was not part of that Covenant in the beginning) and over time made it . . . not only an idol but an elohiym . . .  their God.

Can you see it!?  They took the thing that was good and purposeful but made it MORE important than God Himself!

Is it possible to take something that is good and allow it to replace God and our relationship with Him?  THIS IS THE VERY SAME THING PEOPLE DO WITH THE BIBLE TODAY!  THEY WORSHIP AND SERVE IT MORE THAN HIM!  

Do you see?

Is the Bibe good?  Useful?  Of benefit to draw us back toward a heart dedicated to Him.  Ab-so-freaking-lute-ly.  But it is only a tool.  It is not God.  And it can never come between a believer who is focused on their faith and trust in Him.

Can church gatherings be good.  Sure.  But they cannot become an idol that comes between God and the participants.  Same with government, money, or anything else that blesses us – it cannot become an idol.  

Remember the story of Moses and the brazen serpent

Numbers 21:1-9 describes how during a time of a plague of fiery serpents that fell upon the whole nation, Moses made a bronze serpent for Israel (as commanded by YAHAVAH) and told them the people to look upon it and be spared death from the bites. Was this a good item? Used for a good purpose (to heal and save)?  Yes! But the Jews preserved the damn thing for more than 800 years then suddenly in 2nd Kings a man of God named Hezekiah looked at it, called it,  “Nehushtan” (meaning, a thing of brass) then smashed the thing to pieces.  Why?  This bronze serpent was a wonderful thing – it meant SOOOO much to the Nation.  I mean it was even a representation of the coming Messiah, as Yeshua Himself said in John 3:14-15 that He too would be lifted up to save all men.

The Nation took something good, something authorized by YAHAVAH Himself, and made it something that they put ahead of their worship of Him!   That is called idolatry.

And this is the very thing the leaders of Nation of Israel in Yeshua’s day did with THE LAW. Not the Ten Words.  The Law that was added but in so doing they literally started to ignore the import of the ketubah they had with God Himself!

And they took and focused on WHAT WAS WRITTEN instead of worshipping Him from the heart.    Again, this is the very same thing that people do with the Bible today.  Is the Bible good?  Of course, it is.  We use it to show us (the individual) when we are starting to wander.  

Will it make us righteous?  Never.  

Holy?  Never.  

Do we place our faith and trust in it?  Never.  Do we place its value above our heart and relationship with the Living GOD? Never.  And this is why there are people who never pick it up that can have the right covenant, that first ten words, in their heart and be fine with Him.  Whatever material item human beings are exposed to, if we are not extremely careful, it runs the risk, over time, to become the thing we look to.

This is why I place little value in the Shroud of Tourin.  Little value in traveling to Jerusalem or Israel.  Little value in communion of bread and wine and little value on brick and mortar, or impressive material footprints on earth.

I’ve mentioned that I sit all day in a downtown location as a security guard.  Over time the people who work in that  building have become acquaintances of mine and over the course of our short talks they have more than made it known their religion – or what they call, “the Church.”   I’ve had dozens of one-direction encounters with dozens of members of the church who constantly extol the virtues of the Church, of the Prophet, of the Family centered focus – dozens. I’ve heard about their missions for The Church, about the temple they attend.  About their callings.  But never about Jesus or Yeshua.  Never about God or heavenly Father or YAHAVAH.

Just the Brass Serpents.  Just the Law.  Just the organizations.  The leaders. The programs, my God the programs. When Hezekiah broke the Brass Serpent into pieces and called it a piece of Brass, He did this because it had become a worthless idol.

When Yeshua came to earth, He completed (fulfilled) the Law and the Prophets rightly and properly (because that Nation never could or would) and it was right from His heart, with His eye on His Father and then IT was NAILED to His cross.  Why?  The Jewish leaders of that day not only made it an idol but in their hands THE LAW became the accuser! And they, that religious body, I would suggest here and now, became “Ha Satan” that would condemn, accuse, and raise themselves up to glory through their worship of that Law.

Remember, they killed Him through their use of the Law which they WORSHIPPED.

Listening to Yeshua’s speech about the Pharisees in Matthew 23, we get some insight into what He was saying with this as backdrop information.

Read it with an emphasis on key words that fit the traits, ways and end-results of Ha Satan.  See if you recognize the parallels. Ready?

Matthew 23:1  Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

In other words, what they say is true relative to the Law but how they use it, do NOT do this.

4 For (or as an example, He says) they bindheavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: (pride?) they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,  6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. 8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. 9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. 11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whosoever shall exalt himself (Exalts himself) shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. 13  But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: (block the way of righteousness) for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. 14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense (guile/Hypocrisy) make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. 15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land (roaming to and fro over the earth) to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. 16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, (Mammon?) he is a debtor! 17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? 

(jumping out to verse 23 as Yeshua says)

23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, (Yes, you obey the Law) but have omitted the weightier matters of the law, (They obey the Law but lack the heart) judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 

(Meaning they LACK judgement, mercy and FAITH – the keystone of the religion)

24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. (cunning, strategists) 25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.

(Pretense, fig leaves, hypocrisy, guile)

26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.  27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. 29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, (you practice religion) 30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. 33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers (remember the Garden), how can ye escape the damnation of hell? 34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: (what do we say Satan will do to the wicked in hell for eternity?)

Then to the summary

36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. 37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

And their House was left unto them, who worshipped the dead letter of the Law instead of the God of the Spirit, hollow and dead.  By the end of around 136AD the very Nation will have been utterly destroyed.

Shawn McCraney
Shawn McCraney
Articles: 108

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