"You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them." Exodus 20:4-5
Well, it is that time of the year again. You may ask, “What time?” It is that time of the year when “American Idol” will take over television sets across America. Millions of people, including children, with tune in weekly to see who will be crowned “American Idol.” I recently read a twitter feed that stated: “Tim Tebow, you are my idol!” I know this may have carelessly been thrown out there. It may not actually mean what it says, or it may not mean what I perceived it to mean. However, this statement really got me thinking. I don’t have anything against Tim Tebow; as a matter of fact, I like the guy. I don’t really have anything against the television show “American Idol.” However, I think we have watered down the danger of idolatry today. An idol is something or someone that we worship with our attention and our admiration and our devotion.
Genesis 3 states that "the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made." I believe that serpent Satan is still just as crafty today, and he uses subtle things to lead us into dangerous places. One such dangerous place is idolatry...the place where something or someone is receiving our admiration and our devotion. As a country, we do this. As parents, we do this. We lift up famous singers and actors, sports heroes, or maybe even friends or family members. We devote ourselves to them. We give them our attention and admiration. But we don't think twice about it. We don't label idolatry up there with murder or rape or terrorism. As a matter of fact, we really don't talk about idolatry at all. Yet, when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, His first statement was, "You shall have no other gods before me." His next statement was, "You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything." Idolatry is a real problem today. Not taking idolatry seriously is also a real problem today. We are bowing down daily to many idols...people and things that we have set up as worthy of our admiration and devotion.
The rest of Exodus 20:5 says, "For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God." God created us, He loves us, and He pursues us passionately. God is jealous for us. He can save us from our sins, even the sin of idolatry. He saves us through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus. We just have to admit our sin before Him...confess it, take ownership of it, and repent from it. Then, we will recognize our great, great God, and we will begin to worship Him and Him alone because of His great love for us. He will have our admiration and devotion because of His pursuit of us. Paul goes on to tell us in I Corinthians 10:14, "Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry." Idolatry is a sin that needs to be dealt with daily. The best advice is the advice Paul gives us: flee from idolatry. What or who are you bowing down to daily?