…horrified by idols, delighted by/in Jesus!
Making an Idol
Worshipping an Idol
Yup, you read that correctly – he burned his son as an offering! This is a graphic description of the nature of these sacrifices.
The children were placed, alive, in the outstretched arms of the idol, which had been heated until it was glowing red! To drown out the screams of agony a band of muscians would play and the mothers would stand by stoically tearless. (*1)
Revealing an Idol
“…they have built the high places of Topheth, …to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind.”
The practise of child sacrifice hasn’t even crossed God’s mind…(well, as we’ll see that’s not strictly true!) but what this does mean is that slaughtering innocent children isn’t going to make you right with God!
Clearly God has a better way in mind to make it possible for us to draw near. He doesn’t call us to sacrifice our sons for Him…because He is going to sacrifice His son for us! Just allow that to sink in…
All ‘false gods’ demand our time, money, effort, devotion and attention. They seem so attractive and promise to deliver so much, yet behind it all they are hollow idols, devoid of real power and they will ultimately fail us and enslave us. God provides a way for us to escape their clutches and experience true freedom.
Smashing an Idol
The theologian John Calvin is observes;
“…the human mind is, so to speak, a perpetual forge of idols.” (*2)
Calvin links our constant idol making, both physically and mentally, to the depravity of our hearts. So to be a Christian is to be continually smashing the idols in our lives. We need to be aware of ‘the high places’ in our hearts where we are drawn back to worship idols instead of God – and set about demolishing the site. Where do we need to revist today, swing our spiritual sledge hammers and smash our false gods to smithereens?
Establishing True Worship
It’s all boils down to the object of our worship. Once a false god is de-throned, we must allow Christ to take it’s place or our hearts will rapidly fashion another ‘god’ for us to devote ourselves to.
Our ‘false gods’ will always, and ultimately, lead to our destruction. It is only Jesus, the eternal Son of God; who can bring us eternal life through His sacrificial death. Join me in delighting in Him!
Questions for Community Groups/Personal study
- When you hear the word ‘idol’, what do you think of?
- God is ‘provoked to anger’ by idol worship. Why?
- What idols are worshipped in our society today? (What are things do people admire, adore and devote themselves to?)
- Are you aware of the ‘high places’ in your own life that need to be demolished? How can you destroy them? Who could help?
- Read 1 Peter 3:18. What made this sacrifice different to any other? Tell someone why you delight in this truth.
27th March 2020
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10th February 2021