Continuing with our “idol study”…….
One thing that God keeps pointing out to me is that we turn to idols when we don’t trust Him. We haven’t completely surrendered to Him, giving Him our complete trust. We try to take care of ourselves, turning to things that SEEM reasonable. We think we can fix things ourselves, take care of ourselves, and we don’t want to wait on God. We want a “quick fix”. We buy into the world’s solutions. You know, like those infomercials that say you can lose 50 lbs in a week with absolutely no exercise, eating whatever you like! (That’s another thing- we also want our “pain free” ways!)
In Exodus, God has just delivered the Israelites from the slavery of Egypt. They witnessed miracles beyond their wildest imagination! God had provided for their needs in awesome ways- manna from heaven, water from a rock. He parted the waters to save them! We look at that, amazed that they wouldn’t trust God, but are we much different? Anyway, God told the people that He was making a covenant with them and they would be His treasured possession. Then, Moses went up to Mount Sinai to be with God and receive His commandments. Well, the people got “antsy.” They were tired of waiting and wanted results RIGHT AWAY. Exodus 32:1 says, “When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.” So, Aaron had the people bring all of their gold and he made it into an idol shaped like a calf. The people said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” Then it says, “When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, ‘Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.’” So often, we get impatient with God. We want our answers immediately! The Israelites turned to what was familiar to them- what they had experienced in Egypt. There, it was common to worship golden statues. And, isn’t it amazing that they were going to worship the LORD, but also worshipped the statue? We can do the same thing. We worship our Lord, but also mix it with idolatry. And, look how they credit the god for bringing them out of Egypt! It is the same with our modern idols. We credit them for the good things happening to us.
Well, the Israelites spend the next forty years wandering in the desert. They never make it into their Promised Land with their descendents. Over time, God’s chosen people make it to the Promised Land and follow Him. There is a pattern of being faithful to God, but then they “do evil in the eyes of the Lord.” God gives them over to their enemies, they repent and worship Him. Then, over time, they return to their idols, go into bondage, repent, are delivered, are faithful for a while, return to their idols, go into bondage, repent, are delivered…… God warns them over and over not to worship the gods of the people around them. He knows if they do, the gods will turn the people’s hearts from Him. He wants us to TRUST Him, not the remedies of the world! The kings of Israel and Judah would go in patterns, worshipping the gods of the world around them, “doing evil in the sight of God.”
2Kings 17:7-9says, “All this took place (the capture of Israelites by Assyria) the Israelites had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of Egypt from under the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshipped other gods and followed the practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before them, as well as the practices that the kings of Israel had introduced. The Israelites SECRETLY did things against the LORD their God that were not right. (Again, we keep these sins secret, filled with shame) …verse 14 says, “But they would not listen (to the prophets God sent to warn them) and were a stiff-necked people, who did NOT TRUST IN THE LORD THEIR GOD.”
Father God, we praise You! We love You! We fall down asking for Your forgiveness for turning to worthless idols instead of trusting in You. We purpose to “trust in the Lord with all of our heart, leaning not upon our own understanding, but in all of our ways acknowledging You.” Lord, strengthen us, helping us to patiently wait upon You. Show us areas of our lives where we have turned to idols, expecting them to help us. Open our eyes to see You, God! We don’t want to be like the Israelites, worshipping You at the same time making gods to help us. We don’t want to be stiff-necked!!!! Fill us with Your love, Lord. You are more than enough! More than we will ever need! Praise You, God! In Jesus’ Name we pray! Amen!
Continuing with our “idol study”…….