04/05/16 Abandoned

READING: 2 Samuel 4-7

Today’s reading includes another one of those great reminders of the power of God against the false gods of the Old Testament. David and his forces defeated the Philistines because God delivered them into David’s hands (2 Sam 5:19). It’s this verse, then, that teaches us much in just a few words: “The Philistines abandoned their idols there, and David and his men carried them off” (2 Sam 5:21). First Chronicles 14:12 also tells us that David ordered the idols burned in the fire. 

Several insights come to mind, but I’m struck by this statement: “the Philistines abandoned their idols there.” There is so much wrong with this thought. First, what kind of god is it that can be abandoned and left behind? A god who is under the control of its followers is no god at all. Second, what kind of god can be carried off and burned? It’s a mighty small god if men can hold it in their hands, and it’s a powerless god that can be destroyed in the fire. Third, what kind of people follow such gods? It makes little sense, doesn’t it, to follow powerless idols?  

Yet . . . all of us have followed such idols at times. We chase after lusts that cannot satisfy. We live for dollars that are left behind at death. We fight to climb corporate ladders that take us nowhere. We long for the approval of others, even though that approval is often fleeting. We crave recognition but then only want more when we get it. And, sometimes we abandon our own idols when they can’t satisfy us, and we then go looking for others. Truth be told, we’re not much different from the Philistines sometimes. 

Still, God loves us. Still, He forgives us. Still, He who cannot be abandoned does not abandon us. 

What a good God He is!

ACTION STEPS: Consider these steps:

  • If you were to list your idols (or, at least the things that come closest to being an idol in your life today), what would they be? Make that list, and think about how powerless your idols are.   
  • Think about a time in your life when you perhaps thought about abandoning God. Thank Him that He did not abandon you at the time.  

PRAYER: “God, You are a powerful God who cannot be abandoned and cannot be destroyed. Forgive me for the times when I turn to false gods who have no power. Break their power over me today.”    

TOMORROW’S READING:  2 Samuel 8-12