Even good & godly things can become idols. What are you tempted to idolize?
Read / Listen
Read 2 Kings 18:1-7
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 97
Q. May we then not make
any image at all?
A. God can not and may not
be visibly portrayed in any way.
Although creatures may be portrayed,
yet God forbids making
or having such images
if one’s intention is
to worship them
or to serve God through them.
After the people of Israel had been wandering in the desert for some time, they became impatient with the Lord. They were sick of eating the same food, and they grew frustrated that God was not immediately taking them to the Promised Land. So the LORD sent venomous snakes among the people, and many of the Israelites were bitten and died.
The people cried out to God, admitting their sin. God told Moses to create a bronze snake, so that when the people were bitten by a venomous snake, they could look at the bronze snake and be healed (Numbers 21).
Seven hundred years later, during the reign of King Hezekiah, the Israelites were burning incense to the bronze snake. You read that correctly, 700 years later the people were burning incense to the same bronze snake that Moses had lifted up in the desert.
God had told Moses to make the bronze snake to save the people, and the people ended up burning incense to that snake, turning a symbol of the coming Messiah's salvation into an idol. King Hezekiah came along and destroyed that snake to keep people from falsely worshiping it.
Is there an item in your church building that was donated by someone years ago? Perhaps it has a little plaque by it saying who donated it? Or maybe there is a beautiful tapestry sewn by hand that hangs on a prominent wall.
It seems that every church building that is 30+ years old has at least one of those types of items. It was donated at one time, and now it sits there because how do you get rid of something someone donated?
We may not worship that item like we worship God, but it may have become sacred. I’ve seen church members leave a church because an item their family donated twenty years ago was being moved to a different place in the building. Something that was meant to honor God has become something that causes division in his church.
This is the danger of idolatry and why God has given this commandment. We do not set out to make idols. When Moses made the bronze snake, he did so at God’s command. But over time, these items become sacred, putting them in a place that should only be reserved for God.
What item in your church building has become sacred? Is it time to get rid of that item? Would that cause an issue in your congregation? Nothing should be put before the Lord. We are to worship God and serve him alone. The bronze snake - the very symbol of salvation - became an idol to the people of Israel, and it needed to be destroyed. Do not fall into the same trap with an item in your church building. Worship and serve the Lord alone.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Lord of all Creation, nothing is above you;
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Lord, what have I placed before you? What it is occupying a place in my heart that should only be reserved for you?
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - 2 Corinthians 6