“No Other Gods”

You shall have no other gods before Me” (rf. Ex. 20:3)

            As believers in Christ, we know that idolatry is wrong according to the Scriptures. After all, it is a flagrant violation of the Ten Commandments. Like the rich young ruler of Jesus’ day (rf. Mt. 19:16-26), we pride ourselves on the fact that we have successfully fulfilled all of these precepts of Almighty God. Besides that, as Americans, the concept of idolatry conjures up pictures of natives or ancient men and women bowing down to rough graven stone or wooden images in their ignorance, to acquire the beneficence of unseen gods for the sustenance of their particular race of people. We, of the present, would never deign to stoop so low! Or would we? Do we?
            The truth is the people of God throughout the Bible never dreamed they would fall prey to the lure of gods other than the one true God…but they did. In the Old Testament, they were drawn away to worshiping Baal, Ashtoreth, and Molech, to name a few. New Testament believers found themselves torn between Jesus and Caesar, who fashioned himself to be the god of the Roman Empire. It is no different today. Only the names of the gods have changed.
            Now we are being drawn away from our devotion to the Lord by, not only charismatic leaders and their promises, but also our careers, pursuits of selfish interests and pride, not to mention the corporate and cultural gods of sports, technology, media, sex, political correctness, and others too many to name. Our worship and dedication to these gods takes the form of time, energies, and finances spent in service to them, diverted from the God-ordained institutions of family and His Church who should be the recipients of these precious investments. As a result of our idolatry, God is not at all pleased with us and we wonder why our lives are out of order, full of chaos and discord.

            The Lord demands single-minded devotion for those who choose to call themselves by His holy Name. He requires that we “love (Him) with all (our) heart, with all (our) soul, with all (our) mind, and with all(our) strength” (rf. Mk. 12:30). We can only do this by being fully surrendered to and controlled by His Holy Spirit at all times. Since we, like God’s people of old, have fallen under the spell of idolatry of one form or another, thankfully, He offers us His forgiveness and redemption, the opportunity to return to Him for a restart in regards to our relationship with Him in Christ Jesus our Lord. Jesus continues His merciful ways toward His people, endeavoring to keep us focused on Him even as the world and the surrounding culture seeks to pull us away.