I have a distorted image of what an idol is. I think of the Buddah with the belly that you rub for good luck. I think of teenage girls swarming some popular singer or actor that is the next big thing. I think of people praying to images, the sun, the moon, etc. I think or people offering sacrifices to objects they call god. I think of the golden cow made by the children of Israel while they were at the foot of Mount Sinai and God was speaking with Moses. In the Bible there are eleven Hebrew words and one Greek word for idol.
As I read II Kings 23, I realize how the idols had become such a part of their every days lives. Kings before Josiah had removed things, but they had never gotten rid of all the things that were idols in the people’s lives. People had given them the sacred that belonged to God. Individual families had idols for their homes. Idols had infiltrated the government. They had started giving their children to the idols. They had given their belongings to the idols. There were shrines set up in honor of the gods. In a world with so many outside influences, they had substituted a relationship with God for a worship of things, many created by their own hands.
Dictionary.com defines Idol as follows:
IDOL (noun)1.an image or other material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed.2. an image of a deity other than God. the deity itself.3. any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion:4. a mere image or semblance of something, visible but without substance, as a phantom.5. a figment of the mind; fantasy.6.a false conception or notion; fallacy.
Our nation has come to worship many things other than God. We have allowed idols to become such a part of our every day lives that we fail to see the sin in our action. We no longer create carved images to which we bow and worship. But we easily have blind admiration, adoration and devotion to people and things. We hang posters of people we don’t know, images of movies that we love. We create figments in our mind based on things we read or hear. We hold false conceptions about others, holding them to be greater than they are or less than they are. These are idols.
How many of us take the time to watch the sermon we missed because of work or because the kids were sick, or carve out time to read God’s Word. Yet we DVR television episodes that we don’t want to miss. We are placing a television’s show importance on a higher level than God. This is an idol.
We live connected to our electronic devices, responding quickly to every call, text, social media app, and email. This is an idol. When God asks us to speak to someone about Him or do something for His kingdom we are too busy.
We live in a world of fantasy, where television shows, movies and books fill our imagination with images of vampires, demons, or even just seemingly perfect people. It is not real, it is an idol. Yet, there is a God who created us that is Real that wants to fill us with REAL things, Eternal things.
We listen to the lies of the enemy about how we can’t do things, how we are not worthy of things, how what we believe God says applies to everyone else besides me. This is an idol.God’s Word is for everyone. It says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” It talks of our value to God, who sent His only son to die and become our sin so that we could be in relationship with Him. It says God is looking for the willing to use.
We even lift people that we know up to a higher level. We have a false conception that others do not face the same struggles that we do. We have a notion that God loves and wants to use someone else more.
It is time that we tear down the idols in our nation, in our churches, in our communities, in our homes and in our lives. Not some of the idols, as many of the kings in days of old did, but all of the idols. We must purify our lives, repent and sanctify ourselves for God.
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