Altars & Idols: Breaking down the stones and sacrifices

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series The abomination of desolation

The words altars and idols bring to mind stacked stones or stone-carved idols. The idea of ignorant people bowing down in front of altars and idols is quite prominent in many people’s thoughts. The consensus is that we live in a modern world, yet many bow down in front of idols today. Therefore, is this truly what altars and idols mean in the scriptures?

5. To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?

6. They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a god: they fall down, yea, they worship.

7. They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him, and set him in his place, and he standeth; from his place shall he not remove: yea, one shall cry unto him, yet can he not answer, nor save him out of his trouble.

This post intends to show a deeper understanding of altars and idols and to sacrifice thereon. As with many precepts, this is no exception to its importance in understanding the word of God.

The precept

Then shalt thou say unto them, Because your fathers have forsaken me, saith the LORD, and have walked after other gods, and have served them, and have worshipped them, and have forsaken me, and have not kept my law;

God made it clear through Jeremiah that Israel walked after other gods, served them, worshipped them and forsook him by not keeping his laws. Whose instructions you follow is the one you serve—your god.

They forsook the laws of God, which is what it means to worship, serve and walk after other gods. God takes his instructions seriously, which we see in the following passage.

2. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.

3. And Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.

4. And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel.

Altars & Idols

Red ganesha figurine idol

The parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-17) provides interesting insight into what altars are. As always with the scriptures, the passage below is cunningly written in literary artistry with a puzzle laid out in an array of voices.

He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

Looking deeply into the meaning of the deceptively telling phase, the care, gives insight into the heart of the matter. The things that entangle and distract people away from God.

Biblical Translation, Current & Historical Definitions

The phrase “the care”, from the Greek word μέριμνα (mérimna) and pronounced mer’-im-nah means:

STRONGS Concordance Definition

merimna (mer'-im-nah) n.

1. solicitude

[from G3307 (through the idea of distraction)]

Modern Definition

care or concern for someone or something.


Solicitude (n.)

early 15c., "diligence, industry, activity; anxiety, care, concern," from Old French solicitude (Modern French sollicitude), and directly from Latin sollicitudinem (nominative solicitudo) "anxiety, uneasiness of mind," noun of state from past-participle stem of solicitare

solicit (v.)

early 15c., soliciten, "to disturb, trouble," from Old French soliciter, solliciter (14c.), from Latin sollicitare "to disturb, rouse, trouble, harass; stimulate, provoke," from sollicitus "agitated," from sollus "whole, entire" (from PIE root *sol- "whole, well-kept") + citus "aroused," past participle of ciere "shake, excite, set in motion" (from PIE root *keie- "to set in motion"). Related: Solicited; soliciting.

The meaning "entreat, petition" is from 1520s. Meaning "to further (business affairs)" evolved mid-15c. from a French sense of "manage affairs." The sexual sense (often in reference to prostitutes) is attested from 1710, probably from a merger of the business sense and an earlier sense of "to court or beg the favor of" (a woman), attested from 1590s.

The care phrase encapsulates activities that disturb, cause trouble, create anxiety, harass, and even provoke. Cares are the altars and idols in this world which distract and dominate our time and lives. They keep us engaged in the sins of the world.

Root of all evil

The altar that powers all sin is money which everything in this world is measured against.

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Altars → Distractions Sins No Time ← Idols

Altars and idols established, aroused, disturbed, and occupied the people by removing their attention from God and allowing unrepentant sin to dominate their lives.


Sacirficing on altars and idols

Altars and idols are those things which dominate your life outside of God, allowing unrepentant sin. Some common examples of these idols are:

  • Social media (content)
  • Films & TV (content)
  • Books (content)
  • Sexual immorality
  • Uneven balances in business (buying and selling)
  • Adultery
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Usury & debt slavery
  • Obsession with money
  • Sports & games
  • Pornographic content
  • Sexually explicit clothing
  • LGBTQ+
The list goes on and on, but the post must finish. The world has fully embraced the fight against God without understanding its consequences.

12. The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.

13. The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.

Series NavigationThe holy place — an important precept you MUST knowThe abomination of desolation: The truth sets you free!
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