When God first appeared to Solomon, the son of David, after Solomon offered great numbers of sacrifices on the brazen altar, He said unto him, "Ask what I shall give you." His reply, "You have shown great mercy unto David my father, and have made me to reign in his stead. O Lord God, give me now wisdom and knowledge that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people that is so great?" And God told him, "Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto you."
Forty years later, Solomon died, at fifty-seven years of age, with a sad testimony; he died foolishly, without God's favor because of his idolatry. God had specifically commanded concerning the women of those idolatrous nations with which they were surrounded. He said, "You shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods." Solomon did it anyway, and they turned him away, "and the Lord was angry with Solomon" (1 Kings 11:1-10).
Those gods were the gods which all of the nations of the world carried with them from Babylon. Each of those nations naturally gave their gods names according to the dictates of their language. In the previous passage, one of the gods mentioned was the goddess of fertility Ashtoreth, also called Aphrodite. Another nation would call her Ishtar (Easter), invoking her to give them a bountiful harvest. It is she which Christians, almost all over the world today, honor at Easter each year, with her symbols of fertility: the eggs and the bunnies, while they ignore the Lord's "Feast of Passover," and call its observance "legalism" (1 Cor. 5:7-8; 11:23-32).
December 6, 2007, there was an article in Springfield's newspaper, The Republican, about a wooden throne which was found in the buried ruins of Herculaneum, a city which was buried with Pompeii when Mount Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79. It is the first original throne which has survived until today. "The throne depicts figures of Greek gods adopted by Rome's culture. It is engraved with images of the gods Attis (Atys) and Dionysius, together with some pine cones. It was this god of Phrygia who, long before the Christian era, was associated with the pine tree. The practice of that idolatry spread across Europe, with various adaptations, and gradually became the custom of most Christian groups.
However, the rule of God has not changed, nor can it be relegated to what Christians today scorn and vilify as Mosaic legalism. Paul, the Apostle to us Gentiles candidly told the idolatrous Greek philosophers on Mars' Hill (Acts 17) about the true God. He said, "As I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD." He observed that, not knowing anything about Him, they yet worshiped Him, and explained to them that God made the world and everything in it, and being Lord of heaven and earth, He does not need any man-made temples. Neither is He worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed anything. He told them the Lord God gives to all life, and breath, and all things; and has made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth. "In him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, for we are also his offspring."
He explained to them that, because we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. God winked at our error in that time of ignorance; but now commands all men everywhere to repent: Because he has appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he has raised from the dead.
With God, today, there is no room for the blatant adaptation of idolatrous practices in the Christian worship of the Living God. He has endured it, but He has not "winked at" it. The judgment has begun, and it has first begun at the House of God, even as it did with the Church of God in the first century A.D.
It is written, "What agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you."
It is high time that we all separate ourselves from these practices, and gain the favor of God. Remember the five foolish virgins.