To begin an article like this, it is necessary to emphasize that God is gracious and merciful and loving; to deny that is to deny God. However, to paint a picture of God with stokes and colors He Himself does not use muddies the canvas with a blurred, skewed and incorrect portrait of our true God. An amateur effort to make God like us (Psalm 50:2) does Him great injustice and voids any real relationship with Him.
Therefore, in understanding the Lord’s disgust with those who replace Him with idolatry, false worship or innovation can be clearly understood by the “fix” He demanded through Moses. “If there is found among you…a man or a woman… who has served other gods… you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman… and stone to death that man or woman with stones” (cf. Deuteronomy 17:2-5).
There can be no denying that God was serious about opting for alternative worship styles and alternate gods. Under the Old Covenant, there was no room even for those who tempted one to depart God for the digressive preferences so many religionists today hold in such high esteem. “If your brother… your son or your daughter, the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is as your own soul, secretly entices you, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’… you shall not consent to him nor listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him or conceal him; but you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people” (cf. Deuteronomy 13:6-11). Warning: if you think this is harsh, remember, THIS is God.
Understand that these directives do not make God cruel or unloving but reveals Him to be consistent: “I am a jealous God… showing mercy to thousands, to those who love me and keep my commandments” (Exodus 20:5). It is the height of foolishness to ignore God’s celebrated exclusiveness, even in an inclusive-obsessive society. The world may abandon God for the comfort of lies but His true children will not. Pity the poor soul who does not know God and understand His sense of faithfulness.