In this passage, we read that God was warning his people not to adopt the idolatry of the surrounding nations. Sadly, despite God’s repeated warnings about worshipping idols, the people of Judah were overrun with idolatry. We read in verse 11 that God is contrasting himself to the pagan gods, Yahweh is a living and active God who has created the heavens and the earths. God is reminding us that only He is worthy of all our worship, time and praise.
What is wrong with idolatry?
Idol worship can take many forms and it is anything that we put our trust, time, heart and commitment other than God or more than God. Idolatry starts with our heart. That is why Matthew 6:21 says: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. What do we treasure more than God? For different people it can be different things. For some, it could be good grades. It could be our job. It could be success in business. More often than not, it will be money or possessions. It is really difficult for many of us give up our money despite knowing that everything that we have comes from God and material possessions are only temporal. There is no better example of this than when Jesus was speaking to the rich man in Mark 10:17-24 and Jesus said “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!” Though the rich man followed all the Old Testament commandments, his treasure was not God.
Another idol which we need to remove is technology: our phones and social media. Truth be told, many of us cannot live without our phones. There is a term called nomophobia which is when an individual experiences anxiety due to the fear of not having access to a mobile phone. It can be a loss of reception, a dead battery or loss of mobile phone that can trigger such an anxiety. A lot of us spend too much time on our phones. Some of us also look to social media for affirmation through likes on our photos when our affirmation should be our identity as a Child of God. It is a continual challenge to evaluate whether or not an idol has replaced God in our hearts. I pose a few questions for reflection as to how do we know if we have an idol in our life?
a) What scares or worries you?
b) What do you spend most of your time and money on?
c) What brings you most joy?
d) Where do you go for comfort?
Heavenly Father, we honour and we live to glorify you. Jesus, be the centre of our lives. We seek your forgiveness if we have replaced You with idols and we ask that you remove these idols. Reveal to me if my heart has been loving something more than you.