We see images like this and think that’s what idol worship is. As a Christian, idol worship is simply anything that we exalt above God in our life. It’s day number nine of my journey to spiritual transformation. This isn’t something I take lightly. I’m expecting tremendous and miraculous things in and through my life this year. As I said before, I’m in for the transformation of a lifetime!
I’m also spending a good deal of time in Jeremiah. Jeremiah is called the Prophet of the heart. Heart is mentioned 66 times in Jeremiah. God is after our heart. Chapter two begins with God telling Jeremiah, “Go and shout this message to Jerusalem.” Please take the time to read it for yourself. I’m sure I could find a more eloquent way of explaining the effect that this chapter had on me. I’ll opt for the graphic description though. As I’ve read it, listened to it and studied it I felt like my guts were being turned inside out. God takes idol worship very seriously. It caused me to exam areas of my life where I may have allowed attitudes, wrong thinking etc. to become idols.
In Chapter 2:2 God said He remembered what Israel was like when they were eager to please Him. In those days Israel was holy to Him. They even followed Him through the barren wilderness. He goes on to say that somewhere along the way they lost their passion for Him. Other things caught their attention and affection. Can the same thing be said for you? Is your schedule so overcrowded that you barely have time to whisper a prayer at night? Are appearances more important to you than God? Does your job keep you away from your family and church constantly? God asked them “What did your ancestors find wrong with Me that led them to stray so far from Me? In other words, God asked them “What’s wrong with Me? Wasn’t I enough? Didn’t I do enough for them?” Their lack of gratitude is appalling but aren’t we like that? We’ve witnessed Him accomplish the impossible yet we still look to other people and things to worship. He said, “They worshipped worthless idols, only to become worthless themselves.” I’ve read all of this many times before but the more I read these verses the more they pierce my heart. I don’t want to be worthless! Haven’t you been through too much, experienced God in such a way that you don’t ever want to be worthless?
In verse 7 He says “And when I brought you into a fruitful land to enjoy its bounty and goodness you defiled My land and corrupted the possession I had promised you.” God brought them safely to a fruitful land yet the corrupted it by worshipping idols. They allowed other gods to capture their heart even though God worked wonders for them numerous times. As an entire nation they traded their God for new gods. Verse 11 says, “Yet My people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols!” I wonder how many times I have been guilty of exchanging my glorious God for worthless idols. Those idols don’t have to be what Christians think of as the “big ones” like drugs, alcohol, stealing, fornication etc. Some Christians wouldn’t dare go to a bar but yet have no problem wishing someone else was dead. Some people exalt their negative attitudes and criticism of others far above God and His Word. Offense and bitterness can be idols just as money and fame. Ask the Lord to open your eyes to any idols that may be in your life. Anything we exalt above the Word of God is an idol. God takes it seriously when one of His children worships other idols. In fact, verse 12 says, “The heavens are shocked at such a thing and shrink back in horror and dismay,” says the Lord. Think of the times you heard a particularly brutal story on the news that affected an innocent child. Most likely your reaction was to shrink back and gasp in horror. That’s what heaven does at the thought of us turning our back on God to worship other gods. God help us. I’m going to address other verses in this chapter later particularly the two evils God charges against His people.
I want to encourage you to exam your heart in the coming days. What has your attention and affection above God? My friend, it’s not worth it. Anger, lust, drugs, alcohol, jealously, TV, food -none of it. It’s not worth all of heaven shrinking back in horror and dismay. God wants our heart. In His loving and merciful way He’s pleading with all of us to destroy the idols in our lives before they destroy us. One last point, verse 9 says, “Therefore, I will bring My case against you,” says the Lord. “I will even bring charges against your children’s children in the years to come.” Worshipping anything above God regardless of what it is will have an affect on your great grandchildren. If that’s not enough to destroy the idols in your life what is?