KEEP YOURSELF FROM IDOLS

Today’s One Year Bible reading in Psalm 135:16–18 wouldn’t seem to be relevant to us Evangelical Americans today:

The idols of the nations are merely things of silver and gold, shaped by human hands. They have mouths but cannot speak, and eyes but cannot see. They have ears but cannot hear, and noses but cannot smell. And those who make idols are just like them, as are all who trust in them.

I mean, we don’t carve idols of wood, or fashion them of stone or other materials, do we? And we don’t bow down to such things, or pray to them. So, is this passage relevant to us? Or should we just skip over it?

Well, let’s give it some thought.

What’s an idol? According to dictionary.com, it’s
(1) an image or other material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed.
(2a) an image of a deity other than God.
(2b) the deity itself.
(3) any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion.
(4) a mere image or semblance of something, visible but without substance, as a phantom.
(5) a figment of the mind; fantasy.
(6) a false conception or notion; fallacy.

1 John 5:21 says, “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols” in the King James Version. The New Living Translation expresses it a bit more broadly: “Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God's place in your hearts.”

Now of course, we wouldn’t let anything take God’s place in our hearts, would we? Or would we?

Let me suggest that that anything would be anything we give a higher priority than our relationship with God. It might be a job, house, car, possession, person, clothing, project, sports, recreation, or something else.

We need to be on guard to keep everything in its place—and ensure that God is always in first place!

by Darrel Eppler, Chairman of the Elders

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