Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.
In the context of avoiding the specific sins that plagued Israel as they wandered in the wilderness after leaving Egypt (1 Corinthians 10:6-11), Paul warns the Corinthians—and us today—to “flee” idolatry. The nation of ancient Israel constantly struggled with this issue, from their worship of the “golden calf” (Exodus 32) to the idolatry and Sabbath-breaking that led to the fall of Israel and Judah about 900 years later (Ezekiel 20:24).
We are given the firm warning to flee—avoid, shun, view as abhorrent—idolatry. Idolatry is defined and forbidden in the first two of the 10 Commandments. We are commanded not to have any gods before the true God in the First Commandment (Exodus 20:3). This doesn’t just forbid worshipping alternate deities—but includes anything that we might put before the true God (Matthew 6:24; Luke 14:26).
We are also commanded not to use a “carved image” in our worship of God (Exodus 20:4). Today, this would include “fleeing” popular religious iconography, such as attempts to portray Jesus Christ in art, images of saints and angels, and religious symbols (such as crosses and crucifixes).
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “Avoid Time Theft.”