The idea of worshipping a wooden statue seems foreign to many in this modern world. Of course that carved image is just a lifeless object with no power in itself to protect us. That makes it easy for us to dismiss the constant warnings in the Bible to not worship false idols. God rightly describes these carved or molded images as false, futile, lifeless, and powerless. In our modern sophistication, it is easy to think those warnings are irrelevant to us.
But consider how most of us order our lives. Images of “beautiful” air-brushed emaciated angry-looking models parade in fashion magazines luring young people to be slaves to impossible standards. Sports teams vie for glory and the ultimate title of world champions. Many order their lives in orbit of them as their chosen diety. Hand-held computers give us instant answers to everything, and truth is no impediment. From babies to ancients, most of us now focus most of our attention on the small box in our hands, some occasionally posting a shout-out to God if it seems like enough “friends” will “like” it.
Our current idols are more sophisticated than the wooden statues God warns about in His word. But that is only because our enemy, Satan, has evolved his methods of drawing us away from God just like the world has evolved. Our enemy now makes idols that are seamless with our modern world. Idols always seem innocent when we first begin bowing down to them. By their pervasiveness, however, our modern-day idols are much more dangerous than wooden statues that everyone knows will burn up in a fire. If our phones are destroyed, we’ll just get our life back from the Cloud.
I use a “smart” phone. I root for my Cubbies. I buy clothes I hope are fashionable and flattering. Like a lot of people, I simply try to keep these things in proper perspective. Like others, I have often failed, putting the world first.
The point is not to go live in a cave, foraging for food and shunning all connection to the world. The point is to put God first, to seek Him above anything in this world. When we get sucked into the vortex and forget to talk to and listen for our Father, we’re bound to stumble and fall. If our hearts belong to Jesus, He will reach out and help us up. If we’re consumed by the world, He’ll let the world take care of us, which may mean we get run over on the freeway of life. It is our choice.
Amen and amen.