Photo from http://www.ct.org.tw
When we think of idols we usually associate it to a physical object that people bow down to. In the old testament, the idols people worshiped were statues that had the form of their different gods. Today, the idols we have come in the form of wealth, fame, beauty and power. And they are as tempting as ever before. They promise happiness, yet they only lead to emptiness and ruin. No one thing in this world can fill us up as God can do.
1 Kings and 2 Kings tells about many leaders who led their people to destruction because of idolatry. One such leader was King Solomon. God had blessed King Solomon immensely. He gave him wisdom, great wealth, immense power and influence. It was under his reign that Israel reached its golden age. Kings and leaders from other kingdoms visited Solomon to listen to his wisdom and learn from him. And yet, despite all that God has given, King Solomon turned away from God. He built temples for the gods of his wives to please them and also started to worship them. It was because of this that God tore Solomon’s kingdom away from him. And yet even in his anger, God was merciful. For the sake of David, he only took Solomon’s kingdom after his death. And even then, he did not take away everything. He left 2 tribes for Solomon’s son to lead. And thus, the kingdom of Israel became divided into 2 kingdoms.
As for you, if you walk before me faithfully with integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws, I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father when I said, “You shall never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel. But if you or your descendants turn away from me and do not observe the commands and decrees I have given you and go off to serve other Gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land I have given them and will reject this temple I have consecrated in my name.
-1 Kings 9:4-7
Idolatry is defined as extreme adoration of something or someone.
For instance, a woman who has searched for her true love a long time can, upon finding that person, cause her to regard the person so much that she may end up crushing him under the weight of her expectations.
Or a mother who has prayed for a son, may upon being given a son, smother him with too much love that it can end up hurting their relationship and preventing him from growing up.
Or a business man who has made it his life’s goal for his company to succeed, may upon achieving his goal, cause him to value his wealth too much, that it becomes the most important thing in his life.
Anything can be a potential idol. Even good things such as love and respect – can become idols if we value them more than we value God. Idols are not necessarily bad things. But when you take a good thing and make it the main thing in your life, then it becomes an idol and draws you away from God.
We are all susceptible to idolatry. And that’s why we need to be careful with whatever we pursue be it business success, a happy relationship or even ministry. Because only God should be at the center of our lives. When we allow Him to lead us, we will experience a kind of happiness and fulfilment that can’t be found anywhere else.
Whom have I in heaven but you, and there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
– Psalm 73:25-26.
Think about it. Is there an idol in your life right now?
Reach down deep within and stop to consider whether you have something that you’re prioritizing over of God. The Lord is faithful to those who are His. You don’t have to hold on too tightly. Surrender it to the Lord. He will take care of you.
Go live a Truly Wealthy life.