01/10/16 The Folly of Idolatry

READING: Genesis 30-31

The enemy’s plan is not that difficult to figure out. It’s really quite simple: he wants us to worship other gods. False gods. Our own gods. Wealth. Power. Sex. Knowledge. Fame. Bitterness. False deities of other religions. We could go on and on, listing the gods we tend to follow. 

The foolishness of all of this is most evident in Genesis 31, where Jacob and his family flee from Laban. Jacob determined, in response to the Lord’s command, to leave Laban and return to the land of his fathers (Gen. 31:1-3). He and his family packed their stuff — and Rachel determined to bring her father’s household gods with her: “When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s household idols.” (Gen. 31:19). 

Here’s my question today, though: what kind of power is there in a “god” who can be stolen?  

And, then, read on to learn more about Rachel did: “Now Rachel had taken Laban’s household idols, put them in the saddlebag of the camel, and sat on them” (Gen. 31:34). 

Again, I ask, what kind of power is there in a “god” who can be hidden, and sat on?  

Did you catch what happened there? For some reason, Rachel felt it important to keep with her the  “gods” of her father — but they were gods who could be stolen, hidden, and sat on! She idolized gods who had no power. Seems silly, doesn’t it? 

On the other hand, it’s no sillier than when we follow our own false gods, somehow believing they can give something they cannot give. What we ultimately seek is this: money that cannot buy security, fame that does not last, sex that does not provide lasting pleasure, power that does not bring recognition, false religions that cannot bring salvation. We, too, seek gods that are not gods. 

That’s the foolishness of idolatry — and it’s exactly what the enemy wants us to seek.   

ACTION STEPS: Consider these steps today:

  • Answer this question honestly: “If an idol is ‘anything I place above God,’ what idols do I have in my life?’” List them, at least in your head. 
  • Briefly think about the foolishness of letting these false gods become gods in your life.  Confess to God any such folly you find in your life today.  

PRAYER: “God, don’t let me miss the truth that following any false gods in my life really makes no sense. Help me cling to You alone, the only true God.”  

TOMORROW’S READING:  Genesis 32-34






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