“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God.” (Exodus 20:4-5a)
On a recent bus ride in southwest China, through a landscape of beautiful green mountains and valleys with wide flowing rivers, I began a friendly conversation with a stranger sitting beside me. I learned about his job, wife, and teenage son, but throughout our conversation, the view of the mountains kept diverting my attention. Finally, I had to ask if he agreed with me that God was a good Creator. The man replied that he wasn’t sure God really existed and then went on to explain the many different gods and spirits of nature the superstitious people of that area believe in and pray to. While listening to him, the following question formed in my mind and escaped from my mouth:
"Friend, suppose you were home after a hard day’s work, sitting in your living room watching TV when your son comes in from school and heads to the kitchen for an afternoon snack. Over the sound of the TV, you begin to hear a low murmuring sound. After turning down the TV volume you hear strange mumbling coming from the kitchen. When you go to investigate, you discover your son prostrate on the floor in front of the refrigerator, bowing down, praying to, and worshipping the mechanical appliance for giving him food to eat! What would you say to your son if he was thanking the refrigerator instead of you and your hard work for providing food for the family?”
I won’t tell you exactly how the man answered my question, but it had something to do with him knocking his son upside his head for being so crazy and stupid!
From the dawn of civilization, mankind has responded to God’s existence and provision in the same way as this foolish son, worshipping the things that God has made instead of worshipping God. This is a sin that offends God deeply. He will not share His glory with another.
Search your heart today for any idols in your life you may have placed before God - success, money, material possessions, skills, people, etc. Idolatry is not about what you own, but what owns you. Only God can say, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” (Jeremiah 1:5a). Be His with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.
GOD OF CREATION, I AM SORRY FOR SO EASILY ALLOWING FALSE IDOLS TO TAKE YOUR PLACE ON THE THRONE OF MY HEART. FORGIVE ME FOR EVER FAILING TO GIVE YOU THE GLORY YOU DESERVE. I WANT THE WORLD TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE MY GOD AND I AM YOUR CHILD. SHOW YOURSELF GLORIOUS AND MAKE YOURSELF FAMOUS THROUGH MY LIFE!