You shall make no molded gods for yourselves (Exod. 34:17, NKJV)
Hello! It’s been almost a month since my last blog post and it feels like forever. The interesting thing is that I’ve been writing every day. I have been working on a project that will take me at least one year to complete. So, my focus right now is going at a steady pace. Please spare a moment to pray for me, for wisdom and divine direction as I discharge the trust committed to me, and for strength to finish the assignment I have been given. Thank you in advance for praying.
Today, I would like to share some thoughts about the subject of idols, or “molded gods” as the New King James Version describes it in the verse above. We know from the Bible that Jehovah, the one true God, demands complete loyalty in our worship of Him. He revealed Himself to Moses and the patriarchs and forbade them from making any images or statues to represent Him. He cannot be represented in any form; He can only be worshipped in Spirit and Truth. In addition, any representation of a god or idol to which human beings bow, sacrifice or make obeisance is a direct insult to the only living God. These idols are a product of those who worship them. They have no power and are, in fact, non-existent.
Not only do idols not exist, but those who worship them are also pledging allegiance to evil spirits. They enter into covenants with demonic spirits to obtain power, protection, wealth, and many other things. They also attribute the blessings of the Almighty to wooden and metallic objects. The rituals they institute for the worship of idols are designed to feed their carnal desires. It is no surprise therefore that many pagan rituals involve immorality, alcoholism, and obscene practices such as the sacrifice of human beings, including one’s children. We can conclude that the worship of idols leads down a path of sinfulness and depravity, causing people to function contrary to God’s design for their lives.
At the heart of idol worship is a decision to exalt something else above the Almighty God, sometimes including a complete refusal to acknowledge His existence. Those who worship idols find it easier to bow to something they can see as a representation of the unseen, even if the visible object is made by their own hands. It is opposite to the divine pattern of faith – believing in the One we cannot see. But this decision to exalt something else above God also manifests in people who (claim to) believe in God, but exalt some desires or persons above God and His Word. In a bid to honor people or pursue our desires, we can easily find ourselves disobeying God’s commandments to us, thus putting those people or desires before God.
This version of idol worship is more prevalent in our world today and more widespread than we would like to admit. So much has idol worship permeated our culture that even our language has admitted the use of the word ‘idol’ in talking about things we admire, love, or commit time and resources to, often at the expense of our commitment to God. And it all begins from the heart. This is why we are commanded to “love the Lord our God with all our heart, and all our soul, and all our strength”. He is to come first in all we do, and we are not to love anything more than Him. That love manifests in commitment to obey Him, to spend time with Him, and to yield our entire thoughts, words, and actions to pleasing Him.
Idol worship starts in the heart, and so the only one who can truly detect idol worship in its various forms is God, who looks into our hearts. In its advanced stages, idol worship may also manifest in our priorities and actions, whether in how we use our time, what we spend money on, how we spend, how we dress, and so on. What is critical is to have God assess our hearts regularly. We must humbly and sincerely present ourselves before God’s Word for examination and make changes when we discover flaws or errors. God may also use other believers or spiritual leaders to point out such issues; we must be humble and open to such guidance. A decision to please God requires regular heart examination, which is a practice we must commit to in order to fulfill God’s eternal plan for our lives. Remain blessed!
Dear children, keep yourselves from idols (1 John 5:21, NIV)