05/10/17 False Gods and Missions

READING: 2 Kings 10-12, John 1:29-51

“Thus Jehu wiped out Baal from Israel.”

2 Kings 10:29

There is so much in today’s reading that reminds me of the powerlessness of false gods. Baal was one of the primary false gods people worshipped in ancient Israel, and so many people followed that god they could fill the temple of Baal in Samaria. When Jehu determined to eradicate the Baal worshipers, he called them together and ultimately had them all killed.

In that story, the powerlessness of Baal is apparent. He could not help his followers know when Jehu was only feigning being a Baal follower in order to convene the people. He could not stop the necessary destruction that Jehu initiated; that is, Baal could not keep his followers from being killed. Nor could he stop the destruction of his place of worship or the idols devoted to him. In fact, in what is almost a comical picture, the people destroyed the temple of Baal and “made it a latrine to this day” (2 Kings 10:27).

What kind of god cannot stop people from turning his worship center into a toilet?  The answer is simple: a false one.

It is a text like this one that that burdens me about missions. Today, billions of people around the world are still worshiping false gods. They often turn to them in fear, wanting to appease them to secure their blessing and security. Some go into demonic trances when they worship their gods. Some turn to witch doctors and shamans to secure answers and direction from their gods. Others sacrifice animals – and even human beings – to keep their gods happy. Still others work hard, doing their best to present to their god more good works than bad throughout their life. All of these people, though, worship gods that can do nothing. Meanwhile, we serve a God who loves us, communicates with us, guides us, and guards us in His care. We worship Him with all our being because He is the eternal One who is worthy of praise.

At the same time, however, three billion people in the world have little or no access to the gospel. They know nothing about the true God even while they follow false ones.

That tragedy ought to make us weep.

ACTION STEPS:

  • Join me in asking God what you might do in missions.
  • Go to www.imb.org, learn about the unreached peoples of the world, and let God burden your heart.

PRAYER: “Father, I grieve over the people of the world who follow false gods. Help me to know what I might do.”

TOMORROW’S READING: 2 Kings 13-14, John 2