OK, so let’s talk about idolatry. Not a common topic today. Not one that we feel that we know much about. When was the last time that you felt compelled to kneel down before a statue or a rock? (I need to acknowledge that there are many places in the world where that temptation would be much more real than it is in Abilene, Texas)
Most of us know that idolatry can take other forms. Paul reminds us of that in Colossians:
“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5)
We recognize that if greed is idolatry, then many other things can be idolatrous. Here in the United States, greed is a common form of idolatry. So can be nationalism.
In a recent Facebook discussion, someone asserted that as long as we consider being Christians more important than being Americans, then our nationalism isn’t idolatrous. But it’s not that simple.
In the Bible, we find that the Israelites struggled with polytheism throughout the Old Testament. It wasn’t so much an outright rejection of Yahweh; it was a desire to worship Yahweh along with other gods. Or to make images to worship and call them Yahweh. That’s what the golden calf was in Exodus 32.
There are all sorts of things in our lives that want to become idols:
- Our country
- Political parties
- Personal freedoms
What are your hopes and dreams built around? What values guide you when making decisions? What do you give your time and money to? What guides your behavior?
The answer to the above questions can help you spot idols in your life.
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.
Do not have other gods besides Me.
Exodus 20:2-3 (HCSB)
Image courtesy Sweet Publishing