Tag Archives: Idols

Not God’s Security but Yours

I heard a comedian taking shots at the Ten Commandments recently.  He ridiculed them because the commandments don’t seem to begin with the most important issues.  In his opinion, “Don’t murder people” should have been the first one.  But the first one is “I am your God.”  And the second one is “Don’t go messing around with any other Gods.”   The third one says, “Don’t make up your own Gods and bow down to them (my paraphrase of Deuteronomy 5:6-10).  He said God must be insecure and have identity issues.  The crowd was in stitches and cheered wildly.  Hah, hah!  Look how stupid the Bible is…

But what if those first three commandments really were the most important?  What if it really was critical that we know Who created us and designed the world we live in?  And not go chasing after gods who really are figments of our own limited imaginations?  What if this was true?

“The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply…”.  Psalms 16:4a

When you buy a new computer, you get a little pamphlet with  a list of commandments.  The first one is “Read this first!” The second one is, “Plug your computer in to 120 volt, 60 Hz power.”  And, “Don’t ever plug your computer into a different source of power, or even into an unregulated generator.”  Number 1, make sure you are connected to a source of power.  Number 2?  Don’t use a different source of power because it will damage your computer.   The Ten Commandments start in the same way.  God, the only True God, is our source of life and power.  All others are false and will ultimately ruin us.  Once we have that straight, then we can go on to not murdering.  The chances are pretty good that God knew what He was doing when He handed Moses the Ten Commandments, more so than that stand up comedian…

Mirror image

It’s just dumb to build yourself an idol, prop it up on the mantel – carefully, so it won’t fall over – and then worship it.  Isaiah marvels that some people cut a tree to use for firewood, and then:

“From the rest he makes a god, his idol; he bows down to it and worships. He prays to it and says, “Save me! You are my god!”” (Isaiah 44:17)

If you build it, it  cannot be your god.  And yet, people still make their own ‘gods’ and worship them – these days they tend to use computer chips instead of wood or stone.  It is inherently foolish to surrender to something you have made – or made up!

I say made up because something similar is going on when we attempt to redefine Jesus to fit our own ideas.  People say, “My Jesus would not have done that” as though they are in a better position, today, to know what Jesus was like than the eye witnesses who wrote the Gospels.  “The Jesus Seminar” was made up of self-described “scholars” who decided for themselves which things Jesus actually said, and which were falsely ascribed to Him, based on their own preconceived notions!  But anything you have made or have made up, cannot be your God.  He cannot guide you or save you.

Psalm 115 says:

“Those who make them [idols] will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.” (Psalm 115:8)

One reason we become like our idols is because we have made them in our own image.  We resemble them because they have been made to resemble us, to agree with our own ideas.  Someone once said, if you pick and choose which parts of the Bible you agree with, discarding the rest, what you wind up is a mirror image of yourself.  A “god” who looks like you cannot guide you or save you.