You Shall Have No Other Gods

It’s hard to imagine worshiping an idol, right? Especially if you are a Christian, worshiping an idol is probably far from your mind. As sinners, we don’t perfectly uphold the Ten Commandments as given in Exodus Chapter 20, but I bet most of us don’t single handedly bow down and worship a statue either. Maybe we lie or dishonor our parents, but deliberately worship another god?

Not a chance.

Would you laugh if I said that maybe idolatry is the most common sin for us to fall prey to? It doesn’t seem like it. Like I said, offhand, it seems like we’re more apt to tell a little white lie or disobey those in authority over us than fall down and worship an idol.

But if we think about it, an idol doesn’t have to made of bronze. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a material thing.

So, what defines an idol?

Jesus says in Matthew 10:37, “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” While that may sound harsh, we have to think about it. If we are supposed to love God more than our own blood relatives and even more than ourselves, what does that tell us about anything else in our life that matters to us?

God needs to be first in our life. He wants to be, and that’s not a selfish desire on His part. It’s the same as a husband wanting to be first in his wife’s life and vice versa. It’s not that they’re being selfish by wanting that. It’s what should be expected in marriage. Think of how a husband would feel if his wife always went to another man for comfort. Not good.

We are the Church, the Bride of Christ, and like any good Husband, Jesus doesn’t want to be cheated on.

So, back to my original question. What defines an idol? An idol, then, is anything in our life more important than God.

Sometimes, idols in our lives are easy to spot, like the graven image King Nebuchadnezzar demanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego fall down and worship. But sometimes, they’re not so obvious and really take some soul-searching to find.

I think we all need to ask ourselves, is there anything more important to me than God? A desire that I won’t stop at anything till I get it? A friendship that will destroy me if I lose it? A job I must have?

What if God doesn’t see fit, at least right now, to give you the children that your heart desperately longs to hold? What if He asks you to stay single just a little bit longer?

Or some of you may be thinking, what if He asks you to remain single forever? Will you still choose to worship God even if He doesn’t give you what you ask for?

If you lost a loved one, could you still say, “The Lord gives, and He takes away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord?”

When we realize that God is the One Who never leaves us, He is enough, and He is all that matters, it is then that just as the idol Dagon fell on its face before the LORD (1 Samuel 5), our idols begin to fall on their faces before the LORD. And just as Dagon could not stand before God and fell down, breaking before Him, so also do our idols come crumbling down when we truly begin to put God first in our lives.

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