Focal Passage: Exodus 32:1-6; 11-14
We can read the story of the Israelites worshipping the golden calf with detached indifference. Bowing to statues seems futile and foreign to our civilized Western sensibilities. Idolatry, however, is anything that demotes God and substitutes itself.
At the end of the day, we are all idolaters. For some it’s obvious sins of rebellion, sex, drugs and the like. For most, however, it is more subtle.
You’ve seen the picture. A beautiful family sits down for dinner, perhaps at their favorite local restaurant following corporate worship. Dad sports his best coat and tie, and mom, a lovely skirt and blouse. Johnny and Suzy are equally striking in their Sunday dress. But something is awry about the scene. Each is hunched over in what looks like an uncomfortable pose. A dim light shines on each face as well and reflects vibrant flashes of color in their catatonic eyes.
“Can I take your order?” the waitress asks.
No one hears. Social media has captured their hearts. The lure of the latest app has captivated their gaze. The golden cell phone is now all that matters. Idolatry has won the day.
Thanks be to God that in Christ there is much grace.
“For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10, NASB).
In Christ, our idolatry is confronted and defeated. Because He has been judged for our sin and now intercedes before the Father, God relents and grants repentance and faith to His people. Now, we share in the ministry of intercession, pleading for others that God might also impart His saving grace to them (2 Timothy 2:25).
And when idolatry rears its ugly head, we do not despair. In this life, the flesh will always wage war against the Spirit. Repent, and take heart. He has overcome. In glory, idolatry will be no more.