Week of February 26
A Sure Thing
by Skip Heitzig
I once saw a TV commercial that had a woman who was trying to get pregnant. She collected a lot of fertility gods and put them on her mantelpiece, hoping they would help her. Fat chance!
An Old Testament story illustrates the futility of relying on something other than the Lord for help. The Philistines have defeated the Israelites in battle, and they've captured the Ark of the Covenant. They put the Ark in their temple, next to a statue of their god, Dagon. The next day they find the statue, fallen on its face before the Ark. They stand it up again, only to find it the following day, toppled over again, this time with its head and hands broken off.
That's pretty amusing, but the story gets very serious after that. The Philistines are stricken with disease, and they send the Ark from city to city to save themselves from God's anger. You can read it in 1 Samuel 5 and 6. You would think they'd realize, "Hey, we're worshipping the wrong god!" Instead, they decided to stick with the idol that has failed them.
But God says, "I am the Lord, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me" (Isaiah 45:5). Psalm 115 says, "Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they do not speak; eyes they have, but they do not see; they have ears, but they do not hear…they have hands, but they do not handle…" (v. 4-7).
Idols don't have to be something as blatant as statues we bow to. They can be more subtle things, like our possessions or people we look up to (it's no accident that the TV show is called "American Idol"). Is your idol a car, or a house, or a wardrobe or jewelry? Is it some celebrity? Or is your idol yourself--your looks, your status? In short, what is it that dominates your thoughts and your activities? If these idols were taken out of your life, would it seem unfulfilling and empty?
Any idol will disappoint you. Cars and motorcycles will break down. Our bodies and our looks will deteriorate. Money and homes can be devalued, or lost in a moment. The people we look up to will fall flat on their faces.
Only God and His word will remain, and they are unchanging and sure. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 8:4, "We know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one." Put your faith and your trust in Him.
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