God or idol?

Posted by Yong Joo Park on 3 May 2020 in Colossians, Genesis |

In this message, the focus is not anyone else but Adam or the reader, who is responsible to put God first even though Adam or we may tend to blame others.

It is surprising that how much the first 3 chapters in the 1st book (Genesis) in the Holy Bible tell us.

I. God pointed out the problem (Genesis 3:17-19)

Today let us just look at what God said ‘Adam’s problem’ was in Genesis 3:17-19.

17 To Adam he said, ‘Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, “You must not eat from it,”

‘Cursed is the ground because of you;

through painful toil you will eat food from it

all the days of your life.

18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,

and you will eat the plants of the field.

19 By the sweat of your brow

you will eat your food

until you return to the ground,

since from it you were taken;

for dust you are

and to dust you will return.’

Verse 17 tells us the problem we can see in most men even these days.

Adam disobeyed God to obey the woman!

Why is this the big and fundamental problem? Because it is disobedience to the 1st and 2nd commandments of God.

Exodus 20:3-4

‘You shall have no other gods before me.

‘You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Adam made the woman higher than God. Adam made the woman an idol. Otherwise how Adam could disobey God to obey the woman? But surprisingly again, Adam showed that he did not recognized this fundamental problem of his own!

II. Adam showed he didn’t understand his problem (Genesis 3:12)

See Genesis 3:12. When God chased after his responsibility, he answered,

12 The man said, ‘The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.’

He blamed the woman. And he blamed God who put her with him. He didn’t blame his problem of disobedience and idolatry, but blamed others! It seemed that he didn’t know he was a sinner!

III. Neither do Adam's descendants of this generation understand their problem

This problem is what can be seen even until this generation. People are idolaters and have hard time to understand why they are sinners. Yes, you are sinners of idolatry. Even if you didn’t make or worship an image of idols, you are idolaters if you are greedy. Greed is idolatry based on Colossians 3:5–6.

5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.

People forgot God and their heart are filled with their greed, instead of God. Greed is their God. Therefore they are idolaters, disobeying the first two commandments of God. God pointed this out in Genesis 3:17.

But Adam expressed his ignorance in Genesis 3:12. So do people in this generation.

So amazing that it has already been written in the very beginning in the Holy Bible!!

IV. Basic principle to follow

Again, the books of 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, and 1 & 2 Chronicles in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible show the history of

  • God’s supernatural help and prosperity when they got right with God
  • troubles and failures when they worshiped idols (and inevitably did evils thereafter)

From them, we can learn basic principle to follow. Again, let us ask ourselves: God or idol?


[1] The Holy Bible: New International Version (Anglicised Edition, 2011). (2011). (Revised and updated edition). London: Hodder & Stoughton.

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