You Won’t Find Him in a Store…

Psalm 115:1-8- “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory, for the sake of Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness! Why should the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’ Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see. They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell. They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and they do not make a sound… Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them…”

 

My best friend went on a couple mission trips to India a few years ago. She had many stories to share upon her return, but one stood out to me, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. She remembered walking through the same village many times, but one night she noticed something new. A large rock had been painted orange… and people were kneeling before it, chanting and praising. One of the Indian family members she was staying with said, “They were so desperate for something to worship/serve, they made themselves a god.”

That saddens my heart more than I can say. I felt so burdened for that particular group of people for the longest time. But, then something registered with me. This kind of thing goes on around me every single day. There are certain restaurants I walk into that have tiny little statues all over their establishment. I get my nails done and see the same thing. I’ve walked into stores and paintings and carvings of many different idols were sitting there on the shelf waiting to be purchased. People all around us long for some Higher Power, but they’re just not sure how to find Him. They would settle for an inanimate, visible object, because that’s the only “real” they’ve yet to experience.

If you have been introduced to Jesus Christ, you have come in contact with the Living God. He sits high, but looks low. (Psalm 138:6) He speaks to us and for us. (John 10:27, Hebrews 1:1-2, 1 Timothy 2:5) His eyes are ever open and He is always looking out for and watching us. (2 Chronicles 16:9) When we call upon Him, He hears us. There’s not one word we utter before Him that He doesn’t listen to. (1 John 5:14-15) He is touched by every pain we feel, (Hebrews 4:15) and He holds us in the palm of His hand! (Isaiah 49:16)

Knowing that even history itself confirms that Jesus was crucified, but rose from the dead, is proof enough for me that He is alive and well! Getting to experience Him myself — undeniable! He is sovereign over all and guides my life. I didn’t have to purchase an idol that some human- as fallible as me- created with their hands. No, I have a relationship with the God that formed me! There is a definitive hope that only serving Him brings. Having confidence that cannot be explained, and trust that can’t be matched, offers a peace and security for every day the future gives you.

If you feel that “God consciousness” within you reaching out for something that brings your life contentment and purpose… look no further. Try Jesus. What would it cost you? (Less than you’d pay for that idol on the shelf, no matter how cheap!) His gift of salvation is free! You didn’t have to pay anything to know Him, but He gave everything He had to know you!

What a difference serving a living God makes!

Prayer: Jesus, I worship You today. I praise You, for You are the One, True, Living God. With all that might and power Your possess, You’re gentle and gracious, and You bestow mercy on us every day. Thank You, Lord, for Your goodness. Help me shine Your light, so those looking can see Who You are. I love You, Lord. In Your name, amen.

 

 

 

Scarecrows In a Cucumber Patch

screenshot-2016-09-09-20-27-13

[Jer 10:3-6 HCSB] 3 for the customs of the peoples are worthless. Someone cuts down a tree from the forest; it is worked by the hands of a craftsman with a chisel.  4 He decorates it with silver and gold.  It is fastened with hammer and nails,  so it won’t totter.  5 Like scarecrows in a cucumber patch, their idols cannot speak.  They must be carried  because they cannot walk. Do not fear them for they can do no harm  — and they cannot do any good.   6 Yahweh, there is no one like You.  You are great; Your name is great in power.

We don’t hear alot about idol worship these days. I think it is probably because in North America, the practice of establishing idols is no longer taboo. In our society of free expression just about everything is acceptable; no one really wants to get involved and risk being labeled “judgmental.” So, we watch as people do nutty things, we roll our eyes at them and keep on traveling. Hey, they’re not really hurting anyone anyway, right?

The definition of idolatry, according to Webster, is “the worship of idols or excessive devotion to, or reverence for some person or thing.” An idol is anything that replaces the one, true God. The most prevalent form of idolatry in Bible times was the worship of images that were thought to embody the various pagan deities.

Through the years, I have read several Bible passsages that describe the creation of man-made idols that were used to provide a visual depiction of a imaginary diety. The Golden Calf, Dagon, Baal, etc. were created by man FOR man. They conjoured a concept of the kind of god they could relate to; created in a tangible form as a focal point used during times of worship. In every instance, these gods were  proven to be useless! They had no power to help.

Jeremiah paints a vivid picture of the idols being worshipped in his day. He writes, “Like scarecrows in a cucumber patch, their idols cannot speak.  They must be carried  because they cannot walk. Do not fear them for they can do no harm  — and they cannot do any good.”

Can you picture it in your mind? Jeremiah makes it clear, “They cannot do any good!” No matter how beautifully crafted they were, no matter the material with which they were made, no matter how fond they were of them, no matter how proud of their craftsmanship they were, no matter how long they had been in the family–THEY WERE USELESS!

I started by defining an idol as “anything that replaces the one, true God.” There are many things that deserve our love and respect–spouses, children, friends, jobs, etc.–all are worthy of our appreciation. But, none of these–NONE–are meant to replace God in our heart. If we treat them as idols, putting them before God, they will become like scarecrows in a cucumber patch!

Jeremiah closes his comments by writing, “Yahweh, there is no one like You.  You are great; Your name is great in power.” That, my friend, is the main point of Jeremiah’s comments. NO THING  or NO INDIVIDUAL can replace God. No one is like Him; He is great and His name is great in power!

PRAYER: Father, You alone are the true God. Help me to keep You at the center of my life. Let nothing stand between me and You. Nothing… No one! Only You can are deserving of the honor to sit on the throne of my heart. You… Yahweh… there is no one like You!

%d bloggers like this: