Idolatry of Good Things – January 6, 2023

As Moses ascended Mt. Sinai, God Himself descended and enthroned Himself on it.  Meanwhile, Aaron, at the behest of the people, made a Golden Calf right in front of (before, bedside) God’s earthly throne.  Literally between YHWH and His people.

The very first commandment said – “NO, don’t do that!”  And of course the people struggled with idolatry all through their History – get out your Strong’s if you doubt.

Jesus elevates the thought applying it not just to images that we can cast into the fire, but to money, something we use every day.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;  for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…. No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”  – Matthew 6:19-21; 24

You have all heard gazillion sermons on correct use of wealth, but this past Sunday I mentioned other treasures; like ministry and family.  That can be a sticking point.  It’s not that we love our kids more than we love God, it’s that we don’t know how to judge whether they have become our treasure.

One clue for me is the idea of these other gods being “before” – in front of the face of  – YHWH!  In ancient times, and in cultures that recognize their idols as deities, this idea about the physical presence of the idol in God’s face.  But when we consider what I call the “idolatry of good things,” we have to ask what it means if something is in between God and me?

  1. Is my vision of God (worship, devotion) interrupted by my thoughts and worries for my “good thing?”
  2. Does my good thing distract me from doing what God wants me to do?
  3. Is God high and lifted up in my day to day life (Isaiah 6:1-6) or is my good thing?

“Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;

I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

“For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act;

For how can My name be profaned?

And My glory I will not give to another.

Isaiah 48:10-11

The article below is one I found earlier this week when this question “How do I know?” was first asked.  It’s written by a woman for women – our kids, after all, are often “High and Lifted Up!”  🙂

The Christian life is a journey, I’m glad we’re all on the road together,

Pastor Scott

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