Idols?

idol-7

And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done. He removed the high places and broke the pillars and cut down the Asherah. And he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had made offerings to it (it was called Nehushtan). He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him. For he held fast to the Lord. He did not depart from following him, but kept the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses. And the Lord was with him; wherever he went out, he prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and would not serve him. He struck down the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territory, from watchtower to fortified city. 2 Kings 18:3-8

If you’ve ever read through the Old Testament and been perplexed by the things written you are probably not alone.  It’s an oddity in many respects.  One king does evil, the next king does evil, the follow king does more evil in the sight of the Lord and then finally one comes along that did what was right.  Here comes Hezekiah.  At last a relief to all the wicked kings and their wicked rule.

Really, what is the point to all this?  Do you suppose God has a purpose in telling us these things?  Well, certainly He does and we should really pay attention because the lessons are significant.

While we don’t live in a day where we generally erect poles and have metal or wooden statutes on our mantel’s we often have more idols than we may realize.  Yes, idol worship is alive and well but probably not the way you think it is.  Now at this point, I should be cautious.  I’ve known of places that make everything an idol.  The love of your family can be an idol, even healthy and honorable things are called idols.  I don’t believe God sees it all as idol worship but we should be aware and cautious of our own hearts.

Look at what Spurgeon said about this topic

We are not to worship any other god, and we are not to worship the true God by the use of representative symbols.  He is a Spirit and is to be worshiped in spirit and in truth and not by the use of visible imagery.  The human mind since the fall finds it hard to keep to this.  There is much idol breaking to be done in the church of God.

We can pretty easily point to Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy and say, “yep… see those icons they have…  tear ’em down”, and we are correct that this does not worship God in the way He has required and He has indeed prohibited this form of worship but since we are “Reformed” or we are “Protestants” we get this right.  Well, perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to make this assumption.

Spurgeon continues

For example, we are all too apt as Christians to place some degree of reliance on those God in his infinite mercy raises up to be leaders in the Christian church.  We ought to be thankful for the Paul who plants so well and the Apollos who waters so ably, but the danger is that we look to the person not only with the respect that is due to him as God’s ambassador but with some degree of superstitious reliance on his authority and ability.

Ouch!

If your pastor is a godly leader you can be very thankful.  You owe him the honor for his labor and work, but he is a man that has faults and sins just as you do and just as I do.  By all means, he should be held accountable.  A dictatorial leader is all too common and should be run out of the ministry, so just like in all things there needs to be a balance.  But never exalt this man too highly.

Spurgeon concludes with this illustration from an old Puritan

Suppose a loving husband were to give to his wife many rings and jewels out of love to her, and she should come to think so highly of the love tokens that she sat and looked at them, and admired them, and forgot her husband?

These idols must be smashed…  let us never forget our first love.  It is Christ that saved us,  it is Christ that bought and paid for us.  How dare we focus our attention on another.

Kevin

 

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