Reading: Psalm 115
Not to us, LORD, not to us
but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.
Why do the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.
But their idols are silver and gold,
made by human hands.
They have mouths, but cannot speak,
eyes, but cannot see.
They have ears, but cannot hear,
noses, but cannot smell.
They have hands, but cannot feel,
feet, but cannot walk,
nor can they utter a sound with their throats.
Those who make them will be like them,
and so will all who trust in them (NIV).*
Giant Bhudda, Kamakura, Japan — photo by David Kitz
Where are your idols? “I have none,” you say. Are you sure? Most readers of this post would deny being idol worshippers, but perhaps we have more idols than we care to admit.
Idolatry was commonly practiced during Israel’s kingdom era. In Old Testament times, the nations around God’s people all practiced various forms of idol worship. One might assume God’s redeemed people, who were rescued from slavery, would have nothing to do with such vile practices. But you would be wrong. Time and again Israel fell into idolatry.
King Solomon, who was revered for his wisdom, is a prime example of someone who condoned idol worship. Here’s what we read about this ‘esteemed’ leader: On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and for Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and offered sacrifices to their gods (1 Kings 11:7-8).
When leaders go astray, there will be many who follow. In the church today, we have many leaders who have fallen captive to the god of Mammon—material goods. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24).
Before we claim to be free from idols, we need to examine our hearts. Are we yielding to the Holy Spirit, or are we controlled by our desire for what this world has to offer?
Response: Father God, show me if there are idols in my life. In love, correct me when I stray. I want to serve you—put you first in my life. Lord Jesus, be my master. It’s an honor to serve you. Amen.
Your Turn: Are there other things that can become idols in your life?
* New International Version, Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica
The first volume of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer by award-winning author David Kitz is now available. For a closer look at this 262-page daily devotional book click here.