Heaven & Hell by Pastor Bruce A. Shields

Sunday, October 2, 2022

The Exodus – Part 32 Idols and Altars

The Exodus – Part 32

Idols and Altars

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

Online Audio Files | HOF Church Facebook | Truth Digest Facebook


This document is a Sermon Outline. You may hear the full audio of the actual sermon by following the link Online Audio Files located above for this and other Full Sermon Audios. For a complete list of Sermon Outlines, visit TruthDigest.org or Truth Digest on Facebook; for our Official Church website, visit PS127.org, or find us on Facebook at House of Faith Church.


Idols and Altars



·          The Book of Genesis

·          The Book of Exodus

·         The First Three Miracles

·         The Ten Plagues

o   Passover & Feast of Unleavened Bread

§  Instructions for Passover Feast

§  Instructions for Feast of Unleavened Bread

§  The Exodus Begins

o   Passover Restrictions

o   Consecration of Hebrew Firstborn Sons

o   Cross the Red Sea

o   The Complaining Begins (continues)

o   Manna & Quail

o   Water from the Rock

o   Jethro visits Moses

o   Moses and Mount Sinai

o   The 10 Commands

o   Idols and Altars



Last week we read about how the people stayed at a distance from the mountain covered in smoke and thundering with lightning.

We read in Exodus 20:18-19 “When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”

 Moses tells them, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”


Today we examine God Reveals more Instruction to the People through Moses




Exodus 20:22-24

"Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites this: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven: 23 Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.


24 “‘Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you. 25 If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it. 26 And do not go up to my altar on steps, or your private parts may be exposed.’”






a.      You have seen for yourselves I have spoken to you from heaven

                                                 i.      God wants His people to know that these instructions are from Him

1.      God used signs, plagues, miracles to prove authority

2.      Only God Himself controls fully every element in creation

3.      Exodus 9:14 “I will send the full force of my plagues against you and against your officials and your people, so you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth.”


                                              ii.      Seeing is not believing though, and the Israelites will prove it. They have seen the hand of God, but they will not believe, and turn to idols and false gods.


                                           iii.      With God, believing is seeing.


                                            iv.      John 11:40 Jesus says to Martha, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”


1.      Believing is seeing…not the other way around.


2.      Some say, “If God would just show me a sign, I would believe.” But there are signs all around, and miracles every day, and yet, they still do not believe, though they see.


3.      John 6:28-36 “they asked Jesus, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”


29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” 30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’


32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.” 35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.”


                                               v.      In John 11:45-46 others who witnessed the same miracle Jesus performed, raising Lazarus from the dead, saw but did not believe, instead we read, “Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.”


1.      Some witnessed the miracle, but because they did not believe they could not see the Glory of God.


2.      Romans 1:21 “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”


                                            vi.      As Jesus says, seeing is not believing, but in believing in Him, we will see the Glory of God.



b.     Do not make any gods alongside me

                                                 i.      Do not make ANY gods

1.      Romans 1:22-23 “Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and they exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible mankind, of birds, four-footed animals, and crawling creatures.”



c.      Do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gold

                                                 i.      Silver and gold were rare, beautiful, and considered by archaic man to be pure.


1.      They knew they were God’s creation


2.      Genesis 2 speaks of where gold was found

a.      Genesis 2:10-12 “A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there, it was separated into four headwaters. The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there.”


3.      When we read about the restrictions of idols, as well as the instructions for altars worthy of God we can note a few things He makes a point about.


                                              ii.      No Idols are allowed, even of God Himself, and no altar build with tools or worked stone is worthy of God either.


                                           iii.      Bottom line, nothing man-made is worthy




a.      Sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings

                                                 i.      An altar of earth, natural, un-tooled


                                              ii.      The first offering is the olah, literally, “an offering of ascent,” commonly called the Burnt Offering. The purpose of the Burnt Offering was for general atonement of sin and expression of devotion to God. The instructions for the Burnt Offering are given in Leviticus 1:3-17. The offering could be a bull (1:3), sheep or goat (1:10), or dove or pigeon (1:14). The animal was to be burnt whole overnight (6:8-13)


                                           iii.      Earliest burnt offering is in Genesis 8:20-21 “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took some of every kind of clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 The Lord smelled the soothing aroma, and the Lord said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.”


                                            iv.      The primary contrast between the Old Testament Burnt Offering and the Canaanite Burnt Offering was that the Canaanites would offer children as burnt sacrifices for their own atonement. Although this does occur during the worst of Israel’s history (Judges 11), God made it clear that He would not accept children as burnt offerings (Genesis 22), and the instructions given in Leviticus explicitly limit the type of animals to be offered as burnt sacrifices to bulls, rams, and birds.


                                               v.      There is also grain offering, peace offering, sin offering, guilt offering, but we will cover these at another time.



b.     Wherever I cause my name to be honored

                                                 i.      I will come bless you



c.      God decides the where, the when, how, and what

                                                 i.      Wherever I cause my name to be honored

1.      We do not choose where God’s altar will be – He says where

2.      Or when it will be built – He will say when

3.      Or what it will be built of – He describes its construction

4.      Or what offering we will give – He accepts what He asks for (Cain)

5.      Or what blessing He will bestow upon us – He gives as He pleases


                                              ii.      Why? To help us understand, He is in complete control.


                                           iii.      We control nothing

1.      John 3:8 “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”


2.      I Corinthians 12:11 “All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.”


3.      Job 6:23 “No one can tell God what to do or accuse him of doing evil.”


4.      Isaiah 40:13 “Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord, or instruct the Lord as his counselor?”




a.      Do not build it with dressed stones

                                                 i.      Dressed meaning cut, tooled, formed by the hands of man


b.     The altar God desires is natural, not man made

                                                 i.      Formed of earth or stones, unsoiled by man’s tools, cutting, forming, workings.


c.      No steps, or you may expose yourself

                                                 i.      This was before the time of underwear, nakedness is detestable. God didn’t want even the accidental exposure, which represents sin, being presented at His Holy Altar.


1.      The first “sign” of sin in scripture is Adam and Eve realizing they were naked.


2.      Covering their nakedness was symbolic, and allegorically spoke of Christ and Salvation and of the covering of sin by the Lord.


3.      Therefore, “uncovering” is considered a public display of your sin


                                              ii.      Public display of nakedness is a mocking of covering and Salvation, as well as symbolic of refusing God’s covering.


                                           iii.      This is why we believe in modest dress covering our nakedness




We see God establishes that He is communicating from heaven, and there is a way things should be done. The laws He has given so far (the 10 Commands and instruction about idols and altars) is just the beginning.


Over the next few chapters, God will clarify about Servants, Personal Injury, Protection of property, Social Responsibility, Laws of Justice and Mercy, Sabbath Laws, Instructions for the Three Annual Festivals, and then about the angel that God sent ahead of them to protect them and make the way for them.



God wants NO Idols of Silver or Gold and ONLY Natural Altars to Him




The Laws God expected the Israelites to live by in life



This, and other Sermon Audios can be found for FREE at




Want to learn more about Salvation?   



Want to read more FREE sermons? 


No comments:

Minister's Manual by Pastor Bruce A. Shields