God clearly does not tolerate idols (Exodus 20:3-4).

Those who regard worthless idols forsake their own Mercy.

But I will sacrifice to you with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed.

Salvation is of the Lord.

-- Jonah 2:8-9

This was also commanded by the prophet Isaiah:

There's only one way that Israel's sin and guilt can be completely forgiven: They must crush the stones of every pagan altar and place of worship. -- Isaiah 27:9 (CEV)

In fact, the Israelites were not even allowed to mention the names of idols:

“Pay attention to all that I have said to you, and make no mention of the names of other gods, nor let it be heard on your lips. -- Exodus 23:13 (ESV)

Trusting idols

Therefore, you need to choose if it is worth putting your trust in things that fail, like:

  • idols (Exodus 20:3-5, Ezekiel 18:6)
  • important people (Psalm 146:3)
  • wicked people (Psalm 1:1)
  • pleasure (Ecclesiastes 2:1-11, Proverbs 21:17)
  • money (Matthew 6:24)

Instead, you should put your trust (faith) in the LORD:

Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb.

  • Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
  • Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
  • Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.

He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.

-- Psalm 37:1-6 (ESV)

King David's son confirm this:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

-- Proverbs 3:5-8 (ESV)

Praising idols

Idolatry is not limited to bringing sacrifices to idol figures. Even if you only praise an idol, it is considered a transgression and offence to God:

Then his mind changes, and he transgresses; He commits offense, ascribing this power to his god. -- Habakkuk 1:11 (NKJV)

For example:

They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze and iron, wood and stone.

In the same hour the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace; and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. Then the king’s countenance changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his hips were loosened and his knees knocked against each other.


That very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain.

-- Daniel 5:4-5,30 (NKJV)