Why our Idolatry is Worthless
Devotional/Discussion thought of the day:
(From Today’s Adult Bible Study – Special thanks to J!)
•3 “Worship no god but me. 4 “Do not make for yourselves images of anything in heaven or on earth or in the water under the earth. 5 Do not bow down to any idol or worship it, because I am the LORD your God and I tolerate no rivals. I bring punishment on those who hate me and on their descendants down to the third and fourth generation. 6 But I show my love to thousands of generations of those who love me and obey (keep/treasure) my laws. Exodus 20:3-6 (TEV)
Presently in our Sunday morning adult Bible study we are looking at the way we worship. The theme is The Dance of the Liturgy, Learning to Partner in Life with God. We are now in the third class – and we were talking about the Choreography of our lives – and focusing on Eph 5:21-24 and Ex. 20. The basic questions were, “Who leads”, “Why do we try to lead”, and “the Steps of our Life – the Decalogue/Ten Commandments. It may be the best study I have ever written and is quite fun. I have the blessing of growing up with parents who were master Ballroom Dance instructors, so I have a few stories…that illustrate things well.
As we got to the first commandment, after talking about the necessity of trusting our Partner as He leads us through life, one of the newer ladies to our congregation spoke up and said something that too me a couple of minutes to process.
“Pastor, the reason we shouldn’t worship and idols is because they cannot lead us through life.”
What a brilliant observation – these idols – whether they are celebrities, or statues, whether they are numbers ( like back accounts) or liquids (alcohol ) or anything else – will fail us. An idol is this – it is what you turn to, when life is stressful, what you trust to get you through the hard times what you credit for the blessings. Often, the idol is ourselves – we think we are God. It doesn’t matter who we create as our “gods”, our “idols” they will fail for the reason mentioned – they can’t lead us, they can’t create out of our missteps something beautiful, and graceful and loving.
They cannot do what Paul instructs men to do, following the example of Christ,
25 Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it. 26 He did this to dedicate the church to God by his word, after making it clean by washing it in water, 27 in order to present the church to himself in all its beauty—pure and faultless, without spot or wrinkle or any other imperfection. Ephesians 5:25-27 (TEV)
That’s something an idol can’t do – it can’t lead you on the dance floor, or through the dance of life, or even through the dance of the liturgy……
Only God can…. so relax, know the hands that hold you, realized that He created the dance, and He will assure its completion and its beauty….
- The Dance of the Liturgy, Learning to Partner with God (justifiedandsinner.com)
- Hungry for more than Discipleless Christianity (justifiedandsinner.com)
Posted on April 28, 2013, in Devotions and tagged Ballroom Dance, Bible, christianity, First Commandment, Following, God, idolatry, Jesus, Leading, No other gods, Worship. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.
with all due respect to the religion, why is it that Christians then make idols of Jesus? Statues of him crucified with blood? Is that not idol worshipping?!
I am trying to understand how you can say “with all respect”, then accuse someone of idolatry?
Even so, I will gladly answer you question.
Here is the passage upon which I think you are basing you comment. It is the first commandment, (according to how Lutherans and the Western Church have numbered them. The Jewish people also see this as one complete thought)
Exodus 20:3-5 (NLT) 3 “You must not have any other god but me. 4 “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. 5 You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods.
If indeed you break this commandment into two – as some protestants in the reformation did, you end up with a different commandment, and if you simplify it to “you shall not make graven images” you distort it a little more.
The commandment is about idolatry yes, and the question is what is idolatry. It is trusting in that which you made, putting all your confidence and hope in that object – which is what the religions around Judaism did i the Old Testament. People would actually worship these things they made, and call them their gods. (see Gideon’s tearing down his father’s gods, or the Philistines worshiping Dagon in David’s time)
If this were true – anything you made with your hands – any image you made would be forbidden. (Technically this would include photographs – where the picture is etched onto paper.) But it isn’t about making them – it’s about making them and worshiping/putting faith in them. ( the funny thing is the denomination that is the most against this – no crosses in their sanctuary at all – still often put a carving of a dove in their chruch!)
The point is worship and faith. Do you want to say that any such religious artwork is, giving the instructions to David/Solomon in building the temple? (What about the angels that were cast in gold whose wings covered the mercy seat? Did the Jewish people worship them?
That’s the point – those statues you think of – are not objects of worship – but are used to remind us of Christ’s sacrifice to save us. The reason why we worship Him, the very son of God, yet God himself.
Thanks for asking!
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