Idol Worship Devotional

Read This: “Those who worship worthless idols forfeit the mercy that could be theirs. But as for me, I promise to offer a sacrifice to you with a public declaration of praise.” (Jonah 2:8-9)

Think: Ah yes, to many it’s “the most wonderful time of the year” . . . Football season. But this devotional isn’t just for sports fanatics. Idolatry is the worship of a false god—anyone or anything but the true God of the Bible. Little Buddha’s and the many gods Hinduism aren’t the only idols around these days. In the western world, we carry our idols in the shrines of our hearts.

God’s first commandment to the Israelites was that they should have no other gods before him because he is a jealous God (Exodus 20: 3-5). This isn’t because God is selfish, but because that is his rightful place. He is Lord over the universe and deserves to be Lord in our hearts. In the same way a husband and wife are rightfully jealous for each other’s love, the church is the bride of Christ and he is jealous because he loves her.

A lot of us would never think of ourselves as idolaters, but think of this way: if you had a couple hours to kill, how would you spend it? Watching TV, going to the gym, shopping? How often would you “waste time” with God just because you enjoy it more than any other pastime? Jonah offered a public declaration of praise to the Lord. Who or what do you praise in front of others? How often do you praise God publically? Our actions reflect our hearts.

I would venture to say the easiest god to serve in our culture is yourself. We are a society devoted to making ourselves happier and being self-sufficient. Even as Christians, we may put our comfort before God’s calling or trust our own judgment instead of praying for God to give us wisdom. We may spend time in God’s word but continue to try to find love and joy within ourselves. Being a Christian isn’t a guarantee you aren’t an idolater anymore than being an Israelite meant they wouldn’t worship a golden calf.

Ask: What are some idols that tend to creep up in your own life? When not repented of, how do these affect your relationship with God? With others?

Pray: Ask God to reveal any areas of your life that can become idols if not kept in balance. Also ask that He reveal himself to you more and more so that you aren’t tempted by cheap imitations.

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