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May 5, 2011

Idolatry As Adultery

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

"Judah defiled the land as did Israel and committed adultery with stones and with wood" (Jeremiah 3:9).

What sort of adultery was that which the people of Israel and Judah committed with stones and wood? It was the worshipping of idols of stone and of wood. Before this sin, they committed another sin; they turned away from worshipping the True God, the Living God and the One God. Why is their idolatry called adultery? Because they were first bound by love for the True God, the Living God, the One God, and afterwards they betrayed this love and gave up their heart to strange idols of stone and wood. That is why the Lord calls their idolatry, adultery.

Was this reproach of God deserved only in ancient times and not in our own time; and only by Israel and Judah and not by Christians? Unfortunately, this reproach of God is completely deserving even today by many Christians. In whomever love toward the True God, the Living God and the One God has cooled off, and a lesser love enflames toward things of stone and wood, toward decaying things and mortal creatures, that one commits adultery and that one brings down upon himself the reproach of God. Then, that reproach of God is appropriate today as it was then, for men sinned then without knowing Christ and now men sin knowing Christ.

O brethren, how long will this darkened idolatry be dragged over the earth? How long will the earth reek from the adultery of mankind with their idols of stone and wood, of silver and gold, of flesh and blood? Did not the Almighty Christ destroy all idols into dust and ashes? Why do some now stoop down and again make gods for themselves from that dust? Because of the devil's lies and their own individual self-deception.

O ascended Lord into the highest heavens, protect us from the lies of the devil and our own self-deception. Safeguard us from shameful adultery with destroyed idols by Your honorable Cross. Help us O Lord, help us that we, without ceasing, worship You the only True God, the Living God and the One God. To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.