Daily Devotion for June 6, 2017

'Idols'

Isaiah 46:6-8, 1-2 NIV

Some pour out gold from their bags and weigh out silver on the scales;
they hire a goldsmith to make it into a god, and they bow down and worship it.
They lift it to their shoulders and carry it; they set it up in its place, and there it stands.
From that spot it cannot move.
Even though someone cries out to it, it cannot answerit cannot save them from their troubles.

Remember this, keep it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels!

...their idols...that are carried about are burdensome, a burden for the weary. 

They stoop and bow down together...they themselves go off into captivity.

Reading these verses this morning, I was reminded of the stupidity and danger of idols...with idols being defined as “anything we depend upon to meet the deep needs of the heart. When we seek to find identity and security in something besides God, we have made it an idol. John Calvin said, 'The human heart is an idol factory.' We often search for peace or identity through relationships, substances, money, or entertainment. Addictions are forms of idolatry, as are a host of other worldly enticements that cannot ultimately satisfy. When we give ourselves to the pursuit of man made gods, we are 1) breaking the second commandment” (www.gotquestions.org), 2) grieving the Holy Spirit, 3) injuring the reputation of our Savior, and 4) hurting ourselves. Moreover, the idols we set up and cling to... 

They “cannot move” on their own, nor can they be easily removed: they need Jesus.

They “cannot answer” or “save (us) from (our) troubles;” rather, they make things worse.

They “are burdensome, a burden for the weary,” and they ultimately leave us exhausted and empty.

They cause us to “stoop and bow down,” leaving us weak, stupid, defenseless and lacking self control. 

They lead us off God's path and take us “into captivity.” 

It's no wonder that “God hates idolatry in any form (Deuteronomy 6:14–1532:21Jeremiah 2:5Leviticus 26:1). It steals the attention and honor that belong only to God (Deuteronomy 6:5Luke 10:27). In many nations today, carved gods and goddesses are still an obvious violation of this commandment. However, the sin of idolatry is ultimately a sin of the heart.”

The commandment about idolatry “also contains a warning for future generations.”  God's Word says that “if we don’t deal with idolatry in our generation (in ourselves), we will pass it down to our children and to their children. Children learn to handle life by watching their parents. When children observe mom and dad running to a bottle, a pill, another romance, or a shopping spree to make them feel good about themselves, they follow that pattern. When children watch their parents spend time, money and energy on worldly pursuits, they naturally copy those values and will raise their own children to do the same. 

“However, God also promises blessing for those who model godly values for their children (Deuteronomy 7:9). Just as children learn to run to idols by watching their parents do so, they can also learn to turn away from idols by observing their parents giving God His rightful place in their lives. When we make Him our hiding place (Psalm 32:7), He fills our deepest heart needs like nothing else can. When we have no gods but Him, He is faithful to shelter us with His love and protection (Psalm 36:7144:2Malachi 3:17–18). Psalm 103:17 says, “The LORD’s love is with those who fear Him, and His righteousness with their children’s children.” Moreover, instead of burdening us as an idol does, our God loves us and carries us! He carried away our sins, He bears our griefs, He carries our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4), He calls us to cast our cares upon Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7), He is with us, He is working all things for the good of those who love Him, and He actually HELPS us (Philippians 4:13). Our great Lord and King is so much better and more satisfying than any idol, friends...

Heavenly Father, we ask that You help us “give the Holy Spirit free rein to smash any idols our hearts have erected.” Please use Your Spirit and Word “to remove anything that has established itself as an idol,” so ”we can then be filled with (Your Son's) joy and peace.”  Help us set up You on the throne of our hearts—no one else, no other thing—so we rightly live for You and so we leave behind a legacy that glorifies You. We ask this in Your Son's mighty name, for our best good and Your glory...

AMEN

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