I’ve been thinking about idols the last few days. I prayed to God, “if I have any idols in my life, reveal them to me.”
Idols are someone or something you or worship other than God as though it were God. What would you put before God.
Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you when you are in trouble! – Judges 10:14.
We tend to think idolatry as a sin of the past or an eastern mysticism thing. We certainly don’t have idols in western culture right? Actually, idolatry is surprisingly modern and very prevalent in our culture. Part of the reason we don’t think about idol worshiping today is because our definition of idolatry should off. We think idolatry is confined to bowing down to a golden statue or praying to a wooden trinket. Since we don’t do those things, we assume we don’t have idols. Since we don’t do those things we don’t have idols.
But we do have modern day idols. Lots of them. They look different that the idols of the past, but we still practice idolatry today.
Before we look at idol worship today, we need to get a better definition of what an idol is. What exactly is idol worship? And what is an idol.
What Is Idolatry? What Is An Idol?
An idol is when something or something becomes more important to us than God.
Even good things can become idols when we make them the ultimate thing in our lives. Anything, or anyone, can become an idol if we place value for that thing/person above our value of God.
In ancient times that would have looked like bowing down to worship a golden statue. Modern day idols look different- more like getting our identity from or jobs or staring at our cellphones, or playing games all day. Even someone in our life’s can become an idol. Anything that becomes more important than God becomes an idol; and we all have them. Idolatry today might look different, but it is all around us.
Idolatry is alive today. Is it that a 12 inch tall statue or piece of wood can do something bad to us? Or is it that we do something awful to ourselves when we place adoration and attention that should go to God? When it comes to idolatry, the danger is not in the item… it is in us.
An idol is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, and anything that you seek to give you.
So, what does the Bible say about Idolatry?
Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. -1 Corinthians 10:14
Put to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. -Colossians 3:5
Gather together and come; assemble, you fugitives from the nations. Ignorant are those who carry about idols of wood, who pray to gods that cannot save. -Isaiah 45:20
Those who cling to worthless idol turn away from God’s love for them. -Jonah 2:8
Do not turn to idols or make metal gods for yourselves. I am the LORD your God.- Leviticus 19:4
Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more. I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods or take up their names on my lips.- Psalm 16:4
Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those why by nature are not gods. Galatians 4:8
The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood-idols that cannot see or hear or walk.
The acts of the flesh or obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, fractions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.- Galatians 5: 19-21
God sets the precedent for His people early on that His people shall have no other Gods except Him.
Idol worship today might look different, but it still exists. We shouldn’t let anything, even a good thing, take the place of God in our life.