Ellen G. White Writings

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Conflict and Courage, Page 32

God or Idols? January 26

Genesis 6:1-8

Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.... They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them. Psalm 115:4-8.

In the days of Noah a double curse was resting upon the earth in consequence of Adam's transgression and of the murder committed by Cain. Yet this had not greatly changed the face of nature.... The human race yet retained much of its early vigor. But a few generations had passed since Adam had access to the tree which was to prolong life; and man's existence was still measured by centuries. Had that long-lived people with their rare powers to plan and execute, devoted themselves to the service of God, they would have made their Creator's name a praise in the earth.... But they failed to do this....

Not desiring to retain God in their knowledge, they soon came to deny His existence. They adored nature in place of the God of nature.... Extensive groves, that retained their foliage throughout the year, were dedicated to the worship of false gods.... Men put God out of their knowledge and worshiped the creatures of their own imagination; and as the result, they became more and more debased.48Patriarchs and Prophets, 90, 91.

The men of that generation were not all, in the fullest acceptation of the term, idolaters. Many professed to be worshipers of God. They claimed that their idols were representations of the Deity and that through them the people could obtain a clearer conception of the divine Being. This class were foremost in rejecting the preaching of Noah. As they endeavored to represent God by material objects, their minds were blinded to His majesty and power; they ceased to realize the holiness of His character, or the sacred, unchanging nature of His requirements.49Ibid., 95, 96.

Man will rise no higher than his conceptions of truth, purity, and holiness. If the mind is never exalted above the level of humanity, if it is not uplifted by faith to contemplate infinite wisdom and love, the man will be constantly sinking lower and lower. The worshipers of false gods clothed their deities with human attributes and passions, and thus their standard of character was degraded to the likeness of sinful humanity.50Ibid., 91.

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