Propping up the idol

My favorite Old Testament story is about a man named Gideon. He lived in a time when Israel did not worship the true God of the Bible, but rather the many gods of their neighboring countries. They worshiped the god of Baal and held deplorable worship services gathered around poles honoring the goddess Asherah. An angel of the Lord came to Gideon one day as he was working and told him to tear down the altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole. Gideon went that evening and did as he was instructed. When the people came the next morning to worship Baal they found the altar in ruins. The people called on the father of Gideon to send out his son so that they could kill him. But Gideons father rebuked them instead, Are you going to plead Baals causeIf Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar (Judges 6:31). The reason I like this story is because it exposes the foolishness of worshipping idols. Wood, stone, statues and images are lifeless objects. They have no mind of their own. They cannot speak, cannot move, cannot talk, and cannot think. Yet man worships them like they are alive. To trust in an idol is a foolish thing, Of what value is an idol, since a man has carved it? For he who makes it trusts in his own creation. (Habakkuk 2:18, 19). While most of us do not worship pieces of wood or stone (though to be sure many still do), we all have idols that we bow down to and worship. For some people it is money, work, crystals or ideas. Some people make themselves to be their own idol. Whatever we choose, an idol is anything that we put our hope in in the place of God. What is silly about such idols as these is that just like those who wanted to kill Gideon, so we have to keep our idols protected so that we can serve them. Is your idol money? You will need to work as hard as you can to get it and even harder to keep it in your pocket. You may have to sacrifice your family and friends to get it too. Whatever your idol is, you will end up serving it, and if you fail in the task, your idol will crumble down. There is not much security in an idol like that. The other choice is to do what Gideon did. He worshipped and obeyed the Living God of the Bible. He is the one who created the heavens and the earth. He is the one who knows you inside and out. He has ears to hear our prayers, and has done what no idol is capable of doing; he has revealed himself to us through His Word. We can keep propping up our idols, or we can put our trust and hope in the God who will never fail and never disappoint. Rev. Nathan Dick is pastor of the Community Baptist Church in Panton, Vt.

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