18 Feb 2024

Safeguards Against Idolatry [Leviticus 17-18]


Beasts, Blood & Body. Ancient laws given 3500 years ago regarding these things may seem very strange to us. But the laws given in Leviticus 17 and 18 are designed to prevent idolatry in Israel. God has committed Himself to Israel as the LORD their God. And Israel must be loyal to Him. These laws are therefore gracious provisions to help them worship and serve God alone. Check out this sermon here to find out more. This sermon will also explore the question of eating blood, examine the relationship between immorality & idolatry, and provoke thinking on how we can safeguard ourselves against idols.

This sermon will also explore the question of eating blood, examine the relationship between immorality & idolatry, and provoke thinking on how we can safeguard ourselves against idols.

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Sermon Transcript

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We are going through the book of Leviticus and this is our sixth sermon in this series.

There is a law in Singapore that foreigners find very hard to accept or even understand. And that law is a ban on the sale of chewing gum. But this, this is not a sole problem for Singapore because there are many laws around the world that are really quite unusual or strange for people. For example, in Turin, I read that it is illegal not to walk your dog at least three times a day. There are also a, a legal requirement to smile at all times except at funerals or hospitals in Milan, Italy. Or it is illegal to wear high heels to the Acropolis. It is also illegal to forget your wife's birthday in Samoa. You must not, there's a law that says you must let anyone use your toilet if they just ask you in Scotland. And in a town in Poland, Winnie the Pooh is banned.

You may ask, why? Why these strange laws? Well, we are brought to a kind of a series of strange laws written some 3,500 years ago. Laws about beasts or animals and how they should be killed or where they should be presented. We have strange laws with regards to blood and we have some prohibitions with regards to the body or sexual activities.

The purpose here today is for us to be able to look at Leviticus 17 and 18, seemingly strange laws, understand what they are all about and why God set those laws. And then see what are the lessons we have for our learning and obedience. So I, I propose to go through this sermon in these three categories, the instructions, what are these laws all about, number two, the intention, the real reason behind it, and number three, the implications.

1. The Instructions

So let's see first of all, the instructions. We begin with the command with regards to animals and how they are to be killed. Basically, the command given in Leviticus 17 is that there will be no killing of animals that will not be ultimately offered to YHWH or God or the LORD at the tabernacle. We see in verse 3, if anyone in the house of Israel kills an ox or a lamb or a goat and does not bring this animal to the tent of meeting or to the tabernacle as a gift to the LORD, then this person who kills this animal will be imputed blood guilt.

In other words, a very serious trespass will be imputed upon him. He will then be cut off from his people. It may mean he's excommunicated or driven out from the nation or that God may deal with him directly even to the form of death.

This is not just for the people of Israel but for anyone, any of the strangers or foreigners who live among them. They must also bring every killed animal to the entrance of the tent to offer it to the LORD. Otherwise, they will also be cut off.

So this law is very simple. There is no killing of animals that will not be ultimately offered to YHWH at the tabernacle.

Second law is with regards to blood and it essentially is saying there is no eating of blood or no eating of any animal that has not had its blood drained out.

So we read, if any of the house of Israel or even the strangers, the foreigners, same principle, same law, if any of them eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off. So again, it's a serious trespass. We read that if anyone of the people of Israel takes in hunting any beast or bird that may be eaten, that animal must have its blood poured out.

So this is not unfamiliar. Uh, muslims today, halal food, they must drain the blood out and this is the practice that any animal that you will eat must have its blood drained out, poured out. For the life of the flesh is in the blood. And I've given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life.

So you must have honour and regard for blood and not eat of it. And any animal that you eat must have its blood drained out. And I think it's for that reason that any person who eats what dies of itself or what is torn by beasts will become unclean and he will bear iniquity. Why? Because any animal that dies by itself or which is torn by beasts, you cannot guarantee that the blood is drained out. So you cannot eat of these beasts.

So the law forbids any eating of blood or any animal that has not had its blood drained out.

The third law in chapter 18 is with regards to the body or sex. And here we see very clear prohibitions in Leviticus 18, essentially none of you shall approach any one of his close relatives to uncover nakedness. Uncover nakedness is a euphemism, it's a nice way of saying sexual relationship. There is to be no sexual relationship with close relatives, there is to be no incest.

Now, Adrian read for us the whole list, I summarized it for you in one page. Basically, you cannot have any incestuous, incestuous relationships with any one of these people. Your mother, your stepmother, your sister, your stepsister, so on and so forth. But besides the prohibition of these incestuous relationships, God also forbade them from having sexual relationships whilst some, the lady is in menstrual uncleanness. Besides that, in verse 20, you must not lie sexually with your neighbor's wife.

And very weirdly, I would say, right in the middle of all these sexual prohibitions, you suddenly have verse 21 that says, you shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech. This is with regards to child sacrifice. The Canaanite gods worship Molech and they offer their children to him as a form of sacrifice. So interestingly, in the midst of all these sexual sins or prohibitions, there is this injunction not to offer child sacrifice.

But then it switches back to sexual immoralities in verse 22, you shall not lie with a man as with a woman. It is an abomination. So homosexuality is forbidden in Leviticus 18. And you shall not lie with any animal and any woman shall not give herself to an animal to lie with it. Bestiality is also forbidden in Leviticus 18.

So we have these instructions that seemingly are bizarre to us. It's particularly bizarre, if you consider this is right after the high point of Leviticus, which is about the Day of Atonement we, we studied last week. Right after that, there is this, why can't kill animal unless it's offered to God? Why cannot eat blood? And why all these prohibitions in sexual activities?

2. The Intention

So my next point is to try to figure out what is the intent? Why does God prohibit these things? Are these just random laws thrown in by God? Or is there a logic behind it all? What's the intention?

Well why did Singapore ban chewing gum? To foreigners, this is a weird law and maybe you'll read about why Winnie the Pooh is banned, it's weird. But let me tell you a bit about chewing gum ban. Some of you are not even born when chewing gum was banned. Well, I searched it out. I know the reason but I still searched it out for the official response.

A ban on the sale, import and manufacture of chewing gum was brought into effect on the 3rd of January 1992. So that's more than 30 years ago. And the reason is given as such. It was imposed primarily because of chewing gum litter that has disrupted the smooth running of our trains. In July and August of 1991, gum stuck between MRT train doors, caused the trains to stop as the doors could not close fully. So our government acted swiftly to say, no chewing gum.

And our then Foreign Minister, Mr Dhanabalan also uh, talked about how it caused litter and resulted in HDB allocating a certain amount of money annually to clean up the mess. So for all these reasons, we banned chewing gum, the sale or the import and export of it.

Why then the ban on these things? I suggest to you and I'm going to prove to you, the reason why God said no killing of animals unless you bring it to the alt or to the tabernacle. No eating of blood and no weird sexual practices because these are all what the Egyptians and the Canaanites do in regards to their worship practices. And so God is saying you don't do these things because I don't want you to go anywhere close to their idolatrous practices. So these prohibitions serve as safeguards against idolatry.

Let me try to show it to you. Let's go to the first one, which is the killing of animals. Actually it's very explicit and clear, I just didn't read it to you earlier on. It says in verse 5, why not kill animals anywhere else? This is to the end that, this is for the purpose that sacrifices are brought to the LORD, offerings are brought to the LORD so that they no more sacrifice their sacrifices to goat demons after whom they whore.

So this is a very interesting insight. God brought Israel out of Egypt. They must have learned from the Egyptians about the worship of goat demons there. And so they are still probably continuing their kind of idolatrous worship, even as God is their Leader. And God says I don't want you to continue this anymore, so no sacrifices, no killing of animals unless they are brought to Me. This is for the purpose that they shall no more sacrifice their sacrifices to goat demons.

With regards to blood, why prohibit blood? We get a hint of how blood or the ingestion of blood may be related to cultic, religious, spiritual, idolatrous practices where we read Leviticus 19. In that set of verses there, in the immediate vicinity, there are things about necromancy and cultic practices. And it is there that God says, you shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it, you shall not interpret omens or tell fortunes. So there is a link between the ingestion of blood and cultic practices.

We also kind of get a hint of that in Acts chapter 15 and verse 29. The apostles decided that for the Gentiles, though they do not need to be circumcised to be saved, they are to abstain from these things. And there is a link, I think, between idolatry and the taking of blood.

Actually, cultic practices and blood ingestion is not weird in the sense that you have never heard of it before. Even up to today, there are different religious groups and different mystical groups that take blood as a form of religion and as a form of drawing near to their deity.

This is a picture of a Hollywood celebrity couple, Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly. In an, correct, right? I think so. And in an interview, this was what she said when asked about taking blood. It's just a few drops, but yes, we do consume each other's blood on occasion for ritual purposes only. I'm much more controlled. I read, I, I read tarot cards and I'm into astrology and I'm doing all these metaphysical practices and meditations.

And I do rituals on new moons and full moons and all these things. And so when I do it, it's a passage or it is used for a reason. And it is controlled where it's like, let's shed a few drops of blood and each drink it. He's much more haphazard and hectic and chaotic where he's willing to just cut his chest open with broken glass and be like, take my soul.

So the prohibition of killing animals anywhere else is a safeguard against idolatry, so that they will not continue worshipping goat demons. The prohibition of taking blood is so that they will not be anywhere near those cultic practices that the Canaanitish people would perform. And the prohibition of sex and all these deviant practices are because they are associated also with those cultish Canaanite worship.

I see that there is a link, a strong link between immorality and idolatry. So keep this in mind, there is a strong link between immorality and idolatry. Let me try to show it to you in the text before us.

In Leviticus 18:21, I said that there was this weird insertion, right, of child sacrifice to Molech, it's in the middle of all those sexual prohibitions. I think that tells us, there is a strong linkage between idolatry, Molech and deviant immoralities.

In chapter 19, we see that pattern again, that link again, do not profane your daughter by making her a prostitute, immorality, and it is very tightly linked to worship, keeping God's Sabbath and reverencing His sanctuary.

In chapter 20, which we are going to come to as well next week, we see a link between the close positioning of the commands against idolatry and against immorality.
Now let me go beyond Leviticus to show the link between immorality and idolatry. We read in Deuteronomy 23 that there are people in Canaan who give their daughters to be cult prostitutes. And God says, when you enter the land of Canaan, don't be like them. Don't give your daughters to be cult prostitutes. Don't let your sons be cult prostitutes.

So there must be rampant immorality, homosexuality that is related to their religious practices. Immorality, idolatry, closely linked.

We read in Numbers 25, later on, they would come to the people of Moab and the people of Israel will whore with the daughters of Moab. There will be immorality committed with the daughters of Moab. And in that immorality, they also commit idolatry. They sacrifice to the Moabite gods and they eat food offered to the Moabite gods. And I know this is, this is idolatry and this is immorality because Revelation 2:14 tells us, that Balaam has caused the sons of Israel to sacrifice or to eat food offered to idols and practice sexual immorality.

What am I saying here? There's a link between immorality and idolatry. Very consistent in the Scriptures. In Revelation 22 and verse 20 with regards to Jezebel, again you see that link. In Hosea 4, which we went through as a church, a series, we see again worship and adultery and idolatry together with immorality. Hosea 4, 1 Kings chapter 14, high places of worship and at the same time, male cult prostitutes.

By the time you come to the New Testament, you read about Paul writing to the Corinthians and hinting about the rampant sexual promiscuity in that city. We read about the temple of Aphrodite and how it is said to have a thousand temple prostitutes. I'm simply highlighting the great link or the strong link between immorality and idolatry.
So in all these three laws, they are not random. They are not chin chai, anyhow throw in. There's a strong reason why it is significant. It is because God says, I am the LORD your God. Worship Me alone and serve no other. And in order to secure all this, these things are prohibited. And I think that's why in Acts 15:29, we read that the apostles said, yes, Gentiles, you don't need to be circumcised. You are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. You are saved by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But make sure that you abstain from food offered to idols, blood and from what has been strangled. In other words, not all the blood is drained out. And from sexual immorality, don't go near what the Gentiles and the Canaanites used to do because you are to worship God alone.

I've spoken for at least 20 minutes and I haven't, haven't even told you the title of the sermon. The reason is because I just want you to, to bring you through all this to say we are really looking at chapters 17 and 18 as safeguards against idolatry. You are to worship God alone. So no killing of the animals in this way, no eating of blood and no sexual practices like the cults practice in Canaan.

So we have looked at the instructions. We have looked at the real intention, the big idea.

3. The Implications

1. Can we eat blood?

Finally, let me finish off with the implications. What does it mean for you and me? Almost everyone that I speak with or work with in this passage, the first thing that they think about is, can we now eat blood, hah? I find it a very strange question because in Singapore, nobody eats blood. But yet it's a, it's a question that this text surfaces. Now, by the way, do people eat blood today? Yes. Just not in Singapore, it's banned, right?

But in other parts of the world, if you go to Ang Mo country, they have this blood sausage. Or it's called the black pudding. They use pig's blood or beef blood or cow's blood to make these sausages. And I was told just now that the Filipinos also have a, have a delicacy, the blood stew. Well, they, they, people eat blood and Chinese, we eat blood. Where? Yong Tau Foo. I grew up in a day, I think the younger people, you wouldn't have tasted it before, but I grew up in a day where we have pig's blood. Not this ah, these are peppers ah. But we have pig's blood, it's brown colour after you cook it, it's like this. And we eat it, right? Remember, tee chioh, your, your sweet sauce and your chilli sauce.

So the question is, for you and me, can we eat blood? When I was a new Christian, I was told during youth group that I cannot eat blood. And the person showed me Acts 15:29, and for a long time, I didn't eat blood. But I want to ask this question, which you would ask, can we eat blood? It's not a straightforward answer.

So let me try to answer it here, written down so that it is clear. Can we eat blood? Some will say no, because of the clear statements in Leviticus 17 and Acts 15. Leviticus 17 says, the life of the flesh is in the blood, it is the blood that makes atonement. Now this statement is not just in Leviticus, it's a lot more ancient than that. It's found in the days of Noah, in Genesis chapter 9.

So God is saying here that there must be a healthy respect and regard for blood. Because it's a symbol of life and it is a symbol of what is needed to make atonement for your sins.

So, it makes sense, no person among you shall eat blood, because that just shows utter disregard to life and to the atonement. And besides that, you are following the Canaanite cultish practices.

In Acts chapter 15, it is also clear that you should abstain from blood, and from what has been strangled, blood has not all been drained out. And this Acts 15 is written, or it took place after Acts 10 and 11, where Peter is told, you can eat anything, including pig, pork chop. And so even after that allowance, the apostles, James here, stands up and says, alright, we conclude, that the Gentiles should abstain from these things.

So, I can understand why, there will be some amongst us who would say, no, you shouldn't eat blood anymore because of the clear statements in Leviticus 17 and Acts 15.

But I also think we should be fair to look at the whole of Scripture and understand that there will be some who would say, yes, we can eat because all food is clean and there is no food unclean anymore.

I hope you remember the sermon about three, four weeks ago, lamb chop or pork chop. In Leviticus 11, we kind of explored some of the New Testament verses that show that there is no unclean food anymore. Romans 14:14, 1 Corinthians 8:8. We looked at 1 Corinthians 10:26, everything in the, on earth is from the Lord, the fullness thereof is for us.

1 Tim 4:1-4 that says, be careful in the latter times about teachings of demons which involve the abstinence from food. So it's a satanic lie to say you need to abstain from such and such and such forms of food, because God created these things to be received with thanksgiving and everything created by God is good and nothing is to be rejected. Moreover, it was Jesus who said, it's not food that enters you that defiles you and Mark concludes, he declared all food clean.

So I can understand why, when people say, can we eat blood, some will respond, no, because of Leviticus 17 and Acts 15 and yet there will be some who say yes because no food is unclean now. Moreover, if we understand it correctly, it is spoken of in the context of idolatrous practices. So if I eat Yong Tau Foo and it is not offered to idols, to them, it is not wrong.

So what is the conclusion? I think I have to explain both people who say no and people who say yes and conclude for you two principles, number one, conscience and number two, stumbling. If you are troubled about eating blood in and of itself, then don't eat it. That's the simple principle of the Bible. But if you are not troubled and you want to eat blood, don't tell anyone about it. Drive up to Malaysia, I think they still sell, quietly eat, don't take photo, don't put it up on your Facebook, your own tai chi. But if you're troubled, then don't. Alright?

I, I think this is how I would land. Some would say no and if they say no, that's fine. I wouldn't say, eh, you can eat one lah, please, eat with me lah. I, I wouldn't do that. Uh, and if they say yes, I hope they have a Biblical basis for why they say yes and I think it is fair for people to decide on their own.

Now associated with can we eat blood, is this ever popular question, what about medium rare steak? Wah, all the juice ah, all the blood come out ah. This one more relevant because you don't eat your Yong Tau Foo with blood anymore, right? Now I think I won't answer that except to read to you a response from an article, an editor's note on TGC.

This is an article about can we eat blood and this note says, the original version of this article featured rare steak as a possible example of eating blood today. After the publication, we were reliably informed by careful connoisseurs that a rare steak doesn't contain actual blood, which means that it wouldn't fall under the prohibition of Acts 15:29, even if it were a permanent moral requirement. Though the practical and hermeneutical point of the article remains the same, we sincerely apologize for this rare mistake and regret ever placing steak on the table in this discussion.

So what he's saying is simply, the juice that you see on steak, rare or medium rare steak is not really blood, it's myoglobin, uh, it's just the, the muscle tissue cells and fluids. In, I hope it's clear. Uh, you can go to Morton's and whatever you want and have medium rare and still feel okay. But if your conscience is stumbled, you don't believe this and you say, it must be blood, then don't eat lah. It's fine.

2. Notice the tight relationship between immorality & idolatry

Secondly, a second implication I'd like us to think about, is to notice the tight relationship between immorality and idolatry. I hope the verses earlier have kind of allowed you to see throughout Scripture, there's a strong link between those who practice idolatry and sexual promiscuity and deviance.

In fact, this is most clearly explained in Romans. Romans tells us that God is angry, His wrath is being revealed against man today. Why? Because even though God can be known by creation and that man is left without excuse, man still choose to reject God and will not thank Him. So God gives them up to their darkened imagination. They are left to themselves. They became fools, they can't see. But the instinct for worship remains in man, made after the image of God.

So when left in the dark, man now tries to satisfy the instinct by making for himself gods. They don't want the real God. They still need to worship. They create false gods, gods that resemble man, birds, animals, creeping things.

So they slip into idolatry because they refuse to acknowledge Jehovah God. And when they slip into idolatry, God gives them up further, therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, dishonoring of their bodies among themselves and for this reason, God gave them up again to dishonorable passions. Women exchange natural relations for those that are contrary to nature, lesbianism. And in verse 27, men likewise give up natural relationship, relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another. Gay sex, homosexual activities.

So Romans gives us the logic. There's a link between idolatry and immorality because fundamentally, man has chosen to reject God. God gives them up to the darkened imagination, they slip into idolatry and they slip further and further into all kinds of sexual sins, homosexuality and the rest.


So there is a tight relationship and therefore notice the coexistence in many cultures and countries today. When I was younger, I was puzzled as to why religious countries are not necessarily pure. There's no restraint. In fact, a lot of religious countries that worship, I think, idols and false gods, they have a lot of promiscuity, prostitution and homosexuality. There's a coexistence. Religious, idolatrous practices flow into immorality.


Not only should we note the coexistence, I think we should perhaps think about the causality of it. That, the reason why people are steeped in sexual sins today is because they are cut off from the real God.

I want to quote this author, not well known but I read his article, I thought it's useful. Some of his quotes are very complicated, convoluted. Uh, some are simple. I put the range there for you to enjoy and to learn from. Some of you will benefit from different quotes but let me just read them, them to you. Yet, all sexual sin is at the end of the day, merely a symptom of something else.

The persistent diagnosis of Scripture is that our main problem lies in the fact that we are not satisfied in God's beauty and goodness as the center of our existence. You're craving for something that can only be found in God and because you can't find it in God or you won't find it in God, you find it in sex and everything else. Everything now is turned upside down, splintered, deformed, henceforth, death-dealing to our spirituality - once we have culpably, cupably alienated ourselves from the only true Source of life and love.

Simply put, he's saying all sexual sin is at root a dark reflection of our prior idolatry. You don't want God, you worship something else, you fall into all kinds of sexual sins. Our ultimate commitment to secondary, secondary creational goods, sex included, rather than to honoring the Creator erupts in an inevitable direction of the dishonoring of our bodies.

Why are men and women steeped in sexual sins? Yes, you can say, they are bored. Yes, you can say they are learning from others, they are just doing what everybody else is doing. But at the heart of it all, the root of it all is that they do not know God nor do they find satisfaction in Him.

So, notice the tight relationship between immorality and idolatry, they co-exist. They, I think idolatry will result in immorality and at the same time, because they are tied together, it offers hope. It offers hope who are, to those who are sex addicts, to those who are steeped in sexual sins, because there is a conquest over immorality when you find the True and Living God.

I think there are many people who try to help people in sexual sins today, counselors, therapists and it is useful to have people listen to you and understand you and help you. But I think the real cure is not found in counseling tech.., techniques or methodologies. The real cure is only found in a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Because the problem, the root cause is idolatry. You need to know God and you can only know Him through His Son.

See, in Romans chapter 1, we read about how God is angry and gave people up to sexual sins. But when we come to Romans 13, we read about that victory over sexual immorality. Paul could say to the readers of his letter, hey guys, don't live in sexual sin anymore. Why? From Romans 1 to Romans 11, Paul speaks about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Romans is about how man can be reconciled with God through Jesus' sacrifice, the Gospel, the Good News. So we start off with how God is angry with sinners, but he tells us that the just shall live by faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And when you find this reconciliation with God, you can break free from immorality. So he says, put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh to gratify its desires. Christ, the Gospel, is the ultimate cure.

Augustine, he said, "A soul that turns away from You that is God, therefore lapses into sexual immorality when it seeks apart from You what it can never find in pure and serene form except by returning to You. The only cure is when we return to Him.

3. We need safeguards from idolatry.

I have one more point, but I have no more time. I have really no more time. I'll just end off with this slide. We need to safeguard ourselves against idolatry. Paul says in 1 Corinthians, don't, or he says flee from idolatry. He says don't, I, I, I can't resist, flee from idolatry. Don't eat food offered to demons. Don't partake of it. But the idols of our day may not be just these things. The idols of our day would include money, power, prestige.

I would love for you to think for yourself. What does it mean for you to safeguard against idolatry? What does it mean for you to stay clear away from wealth and the love of money? Well, Jesus said, do not do this. Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven because where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

How you manage your finances or how you look at stewardship is going to determine whether you are, you are going to fall into idolatry or not. That's what Jesus is saying.

Paul says the same thing. He says the love of money is the root of all evil. Be careful that it will lay, it will cause you to wander away and you'll be pierced with many sorrows. So flee these things, flee covetousness. But instead, chase after these things and don't set your hopes on the uncertainty of riches. Don't let that be your god. But do this. Do good, be rich in good works, be generous, ready to share. Fill your hearts with the love of God. Fill your hearts with the love of God. We love Him, we worship Him because He first loved us.

In Leviticus, God keeps repeating, for I am the LORD, for I am the LORD, for I am the LORD, your God. Don't pursue other gods, don't chase after the Canaanite Molech, but worship Me alone. I am the One who redeemed you.

So today, the real cure is that when we fill ourselves with the love of Jesus, as we preach to ourselves the Gospel, as we see the love of God in Scripture, as we gather in community, let us fill our hearts with the love of God so that it will push out the love for money, for sex, for power, for riches, for prestige. May God bless you as you hear His Word. Let's bow for a word of prayer together.

This morning, we are looking at a passage that speaks about blood and animals. But I hope you know by now, it's not about these things, actually. It's about the right relationship with God. It's about worshipping Him and serving Him alone.

Maybe today, you are a sex addict. Maybe today, you are struggling with idolatry. I want to say to you, there is Someone who can set you free. His Name is Jesus. He came to die and to pay for your sins so that you may be reconciled with God.

I pray today, you would see your sin and see that there is a cure, there's a Saviour, there is forgiveness in Jesus Christ, God's Son. He said, I'm the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by Me.

I say also to my brothers and sisters in Christ, my fellow Christians, maybe today you are seeking for joy and satisfaction and fulfilment in the things of this world. They are counterfeit gods. They are gods who cannot save. May you be wise to realise that the source of love in life is God alone. Make provisions in your life to safeguard against idolatry. May you worship Him and worship Him alone.

So Father, thank You for this morning we can gather to hear Your Word. A strange, bizarre text, but actually a very needful text. May we learn to worship You and You alone. Bless Your church, bless Your people as we talk about these things on the way home, as we discuss in our care groups. May we learn to apply the truth to life. May You fill our hearts with the love of the Gospel. May we love You because You first loved us. Thank You. Dismiss us now with Your blessings. We pray all this in Jesus' Name. Amen.


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