The Church and God’s Law (25)

He who sacrifices to any other god, other than the Lord alone, shall be utterly destroyed (Ex.22:20)

This text testifies to a number of things. Firstly, God is a jealous God, Who requires the totality of our heart affections, manifested in our obedience in everything. The notion of polytheism is abhorrent to God. Many religions means many, conflicting laws (for religion and law are closely related), and this then leads to the justification of many behaviours that are also abhorrent to God.

People are really never irreligious. Paul observed of the Athenians, “…that you are very religious in all respects” (Acts 17:22). The real question is, is our religion based on faithfulness and obedience to God and His Word? If not, it is a destructive, false religion bringing us under God’s curse, and ultimately hell.

I have quoted North in this context earlier, and will remind the reader of his statement again:

The civil government’s primary function is to protect the community against the wrath of God by enforcing His laws against public acts that threaten the survival of the community.[1]

This text also requires that God’s people are faithful in opposing false religion. It is insufficient to merely claim that “I have been faithful to God,” if we know of social practices taking place (especially public ones) that are abhorrent to God. God made this very clear to Israel: they were obligated to take action against all forms of social idolatry in the land (see Deut.13).  The authority and dominance of the Church as an influential institution in the community, will lead to greater responsibility in this regard.

What people do secretly we cannot comment on, but known public behaviour, we can and must act upon. Furthermore, a godly law base will reflect this responsibility.

This text is also a reminder of the First Commandment: “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Ex.20:3) A Christian society and law-base will reflect this.

[1] Gary North, “Tools of Dominion,” 1990, Vol.3, p.679.