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Idols Of The Exodus

The people of Israel (see the Fact Finder question below), and the people who became Israel (e.g. see Israel's Iraqi Roots), had a long history of idolatry. Joshua reminded the Israelites of that fact after they had entered their promised land.

"24:1 And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God. 24:2 And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods." (Joshua 24:1-2 KJV)

"Now therefore put away the strange gods which are among you"

The Golden Calf incident at Mount Sinai is perhaps the most infamous act of idolatry after the Exodus, but idol worship was actually far more deep-rooted in them than that single abomination. Despite all of the great wonders that LORD did for and before them, many of the Israelites still carried graven images on their journey from Egypt right into the promised land. Upon their arrival, Joshua ordered them to make a choice.

The Ten Commandments

"24:13 And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat. 24:14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD [i.e. Jesus Christ - see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM'], choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:13-15 KJV)

And so the Israelites pledged their allegiance to the LORD - a promise of loyalty that they would not long keep.

"24:16 And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods; 24:17 For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed: 24:18 And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God.

24:19 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. 24:20 If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.

24:21 And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the LORD.

24:22 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve him.

And they said, We are witnesses.

24:23 Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel.

24:24 And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.

24:25 So Joshua made a covenant [see Covenant and Testament] with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. 24:26 And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD.

24:27 And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God." (Joshua 24:16-27 KJV)

Fact Finder: (a) Did the United Kingdom of Israel divide because of Solomon's idolatry? (b) Did the northern kingdom of "Israel" later fall because of idolatry? (c) Did the southern kingdom of "Judah" later fall because of idolatry?
(a) See The Division Of Israel
(b) See The Northern Kingdom
(c) See The Southern Kingdom

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