II Kings 17:37 And the statues, and the ordinances, and the law, and the commandment, which he wrote for you, ye shall observe to do for evermore; and ye shall not fear other gods. (KJV)
II Kings 17 may be one of the most disturbing chapters in the Scripture. Israel has fallen into idolatry. They have assumed a “salad bar” mentality to worship and are “serving their idols even while worshipping the LORD.” It continues on to say children and grandchildren continue to do as “ancestors did to this day.” (emphasis mine)
“Salad bar” religion is just as popular today: a little confession, a variety of baptism-christening, immersion, or ice bucket, a spoonful of meditation, a dash of prayer, a heaping of positivity, a side of name and claim it, a large serving of “do whatever makes you happy,” topped with Bibles on the coffee table and crosses on the wall, and bit of dressing for church attendance on Christmas and Easter.
Some things never change. Can your hear heaven sigh? Modern day idols are not statues, even though there is some of that – Buddha, totem poles, crucifixes, shrines, etc. Our modern day idols are: money, beauty, career, youth, cars we drive, hobbies we pursue, sports heroes, Hollywood stars, people we adore (children, grandchildren, significant others, spouses, parents, friends), political figures and agendas. The list is endless. Idol: another word for greed–what I want. We desire to be god, have a god we can touch, see, and one that does what we want and does it now. Thank you.
This one verse in the middle of this scathing dissertation on the failure of God’s chosen people to follow His law is a reminder to us: we need not fear the gods of this world (materialism, self, man) if, such a big word IF, we observe the law He wrote down for us on stone and in our hearts.
IF, acronym for I Fear. So much we fear is a result of our own disobedience, failure to follow God’s directions. (October 5th, 2015 Following Other Gods)
HINT: The blessing of obedience is NO FEAR.
The challenge for today is to look at our individual fears and ask if the root of the fear is in “other god(s).” If so, what will we choose to do? Keep the other god in its place or tear it down in order to rid our lives of the fear? Tearing down idols is never easy, always God honoring, brings blessings, and best of all eliminates F-E-A-R (False Evidence Appearing Real)! We must constantly evaluate our lives to determine if anyone or anything has crept into our lives and taken first place. The place reserved for the LORD. The first commandment God gave was, “Thou shalt have NO other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3-5). “The Preacher” as Lisa lovingly calls her husband says, “There can only be ONE on the throne of your heart. Who will you place on the throne of your heart?” As I listened to a sermon the other day on the radio, I heard something I had never heard or understood before: The Ten Commandments were given as a marriage contract between God and Israel. In marriage, we promise the kind of fidelity, respect, honor, and commitment we see in the document written by God’s own hand.
Something to ponder today……………do I have other gods in my life? Am I unfaithful to the LORD?