Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 5:1 through Ezekiel 9:11
I really enjoy watching American Idol, a Fox network reality show that has been one of the most successful shows in the history of American television. I love watching people follow their dreams, get better each week, and rise to success. But the name of the show is very telling of today’s culture.
What does the word “idol” mean in the 21st Century?
- a representation or symbol of an object of worship
- someone who is adored blindly and excessively
- an ideal instance; a perfect embodiment of a concept
You may or may not be an American Idol fan, but if we do some soul-searching we may find some idols in our lives.
Here are a few “possible” American Idols:
- Our bodies
- Physical Fitness
- Multi-media (T.V.s, Computers, Smart Phones, etc)
- Serving others
…this list could go on and on.
ALL of these things can be good, how can they be an idol?
Tim Keller states in Counterfeit Gods, “Most people know you can make a god out of money. Most people know you can make a god out of sex. However, anything in life can serve as an idol, a God-alternative, a counterfeit god…
What is an idol?
It is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.”
And I would add that an idol can be anything you “think” you can’t live without.
Have you ever said, “I can’t live without________________!”
My husband and I have had some conversations lately around the “stuff” we think can’t live without. Between our lessons on a Sabbath rest and the dangers of idolatry, which just happen to be two of the Ten Commandments, we sometimes wonder if we may need to fast from some things like technology and multimedia one day a week to rest our minds and show ourselves and the Lord we can live without a computer and a T.V.
There have been times when I felt the need to fast coffee, sugar, bread or all food for a period of time because I just couldn’t say no.
Please don’t allow my “thinking out loud” to put condemnation on you. Please don’t think I am some legalistic person who thinks anything that’s pleasurable is sinful—that is not true at all! I just feel we need to think about what idols look like in the 21st century. We have a tendency to think we don’t have a problem with idol worship because we’re not bowing down to the sun, moon, or some statue of clay.
As we have made our way through the Old Testament, most of the time when the Lord’s anger and judgment fell, it was because of idolatry. In the New Testament, Jesus confirms our Heavenly Father’s desire for first place in our lives:
“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the Law of Moses?”
Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” Matthew 22:36-37
As I read Ezekiel 6:9 in today’s reading it made me so sad.
Then when they are exiled among the nations, they will remember me. They will recognize how hurt I am by their unfaithful hearts and lustful eyes that long for their idols.
I wonder how many times I have hurt my Heavenly Father because my heart and eyes wanted the world and its idols more than Him.
Heavenly Father, search our hearts. Reveal the people, ideas, attitudes, or things that could become idols in our lives. Teach us to guard our hearts, for it determines the course of our life (Proverbs 4:23) Heavenly Father, teach us how to love You with all our heart, all our soul, and all our mind.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen and Amen!
© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 10:1 through Ezekiel 13:23