Magicians use deception to trick their audiences into seeing what is not there, hearing what is not factual, and believing what is not otherwise believable. People who worship idols are tricked in similar ways, whether they are idols of silver and gold, fame and fortune, or false religions and ideologies. The risk of being led astray by deceptive idols is why Moses gave the ancient nation of Israel a sober warning. We read in Deuteronomy 4:23, “Be careful not to break the covenant the Lord your God has made with you. Do not make idols of any shape or form, for the Lord your God has forbidden this.” God’s prohibition of worshiping idols was for the people’s benefit. By turning to idolatry, they would miss the blessings God would otherwise bestow upon them. That principle is still true. Fake gods even today can deceive us by promising pleasure, wealth, and power without accountability. Whenever we worship or rely on people, places, or objects in place of Almighty God, we forfeit the rights and privileges God has for those who love and follow Him.

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