Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Idol of the Day

Only a garden gnome
I think it adds a whimsical touch. An Ira Ono creation, without any sort of power. Basically a mask on a stick, it does illustrate the utter uselessness of appealing to anything other than God for help. We hear so many injunctions and rebukes, in the Old Testament particularly, regarding idol worship, that in our so very "scientific" age, are easy to disregard; by thinking "that was then" and doesn't apply now. More sermons are needed on the subject of what constitutes an idol in our time.
"Why have they provoked me to anger with their images, with their worthless foreign idols?"
Jeremiah 8:19b
Is the Lord still being provoked to anger by idols? There is a scripture which says greed is idolatry. In the old days, that idol would have been Mammon, or similar gods, worshiped to insure wealth. I remember visiting temples in Japan and noticing the emptiness of spirit; then strolling by pachinko parlors (in the US we have Las Vegas), filled with intent players and an overwhelming spirit of greed. The face of the false god and place of worship has changed. Today, as ever, adultery, fornication and pornography are the pursuit of sex before God - what the Israelites knew as Ashtoreth, goddess of the Sidonians (among others and by different names.)

There is so much focus in Scripture on the subject of idolatry that it must be just as important for us - that they all be uncovered in our time - recognized for what they are. Today our idols are more concealed, often shrouded with psychological double-talk and labels - Satan has a game plan for every culture and age. Actually it's also a form of self-deception, not grasping the degree to which God is put in a secondary position.

The god "science" can even claim temples on the high places. Not that scientific research or study is wrong. What is wrong is when it, or anything else, replaces God as final authority in our lives or where we turn for help.

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