“Little Children, Keep yourselves from Idols.” 1 John 5:21
So what does it mean? Why is this in the New Testament? These are the types of questions I like to ask God (when I am studying with Him.) Oh Sure, I have looked up idol, and what it was in the Old Testament. I’ve also studied the sermons of others, and I know an idol can be “Whatever” you chase after, or deem to be more important than God. But beyond this, What does it mean, “Keep yourselves from Idols”, and why was that the writer’s last instruction, before the letter ended?
Idolatry and harlotry, almost always seem to go together (in the Old Testament). Harlotry was chasing after “Other lovers” as God called it. It’s fascinating that Harlotry begins with a spiritual decision, and not an earthy one. This is why Rahab could be sanctified, because while her job had been “Harlot” She was right in her heart with God, the day she helped Joshua and his spies.
Her Heart Set redeemed her, and God forgot her earthly sins, right then and there.
Verse 20 of this same chapter, says we were given understanding (From God) so we can know him. This letter was written to the church, and not to non-believers. John called them “Little Children.” Why was that? And how did he know he was a man (of God) and they were not? There were no seminaries in those days, so how did John know?
So for those of you who want to know, Who will be drawn to this teaching by the Spirit of the Living God, I will tell you. John knew Idolatry would lead to harlotry. God knows your “other lovers” (of this world) will keep you from Him, and he will not be able to protect you, or help you to know Him.
The story of Hosea is a beautiful picture of God’s love for his people. He had Hosea divorce, then re marry, a woman who was a blatant harlot. The result of her harlotry was, she wound up in chains, sold to the highest bidder.
The type of anger God has, is a loving anger (for, he is always love!).In our modern world, we have the Idol of worldly wisdom, or being sophisticated according to this world, or doing or saying what is popular, or what everyone else is chasing after.
A CAUSE can even become an idol, which leads to harlotry, and loving this world, (and the things of it) more than God. Now, a wise person will ask for council (of the Holy Spirit) and ask for correction, from Him. Wisdom cries out (in the streets) and says, “Is anyone listening to Jesus, and the Spirit he sent, to teach us?”
The Very heart of God is found in Proverbs, and all through His Holy Word. His Heart is: That we should grow, learn of Him, Take his Yoke upon us, seek his Spirit for wisdom. WHY? Because he wants to restore us, heal us, make us whole. How can he do that when we won’t come to Him? Or Learn from Him? He cries when he lets people go, he suffered and died so he could save us………
So no, God is not a big child “MAD AT US” for daring to not listen…….
He just loves us (so much) and knows Idols and Harlotry keep us from receiving His best! (FOR US) Which he so desperately wants us to have. God loves you! But, he does not like Idols. They lead to other lovers, that keep us from Him. And he knows the end of it will be disaster so. And that my friends is why he said: “Keep yourselves from Idols” Because it prevents us from receiving, from Him. With Love,
Laura Grace, Author, Grace to grow the Study guide