Wednesday, May 19, 2010


What do really I worship? What is special enough to look at, ponder, and study? On what do I focus my attention for long periods of time? May 16's reading talks about the people of God, and what happened to them when they lost their focus:

. . . They went after false idols and became false,
and they followed the nations that were around them,
concerning whom the Lord had commanded them
that they should not do like them. And they
abandoned all the commandments
of the Lord their God . . .

- from
2 Kings 17:15-16

In May 17's reading, I saw that even Christian symbols, the icons of my faith, can be twisted into idols. Hezekiah did the right thing when he "broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made." The Bible says that the symbol had been perverted, and that "until those days the people of Israel had made offerings to it (it was called Nehushtan)." 2 Kings 18:4

The serpent on a pole was crafted at God's behest. People dying of snakebite were instructed to look at it, and as they did so they were healed (see Numbers 21:5-9). The thing served a good purpose, ordained by God. Yet as the years passed, people gave it undue honor, rather than remembering that it was God who used it to help and heal.

I may not be inclined to worship pagan idols, but perhaps there are things in my life that I need to examine for signs of idolatry. Is there anything I fear, honor, respect, or protect, at the expense of honoring God? I pray that my idols will be revealed to me, for I want to throw them down! I wish to honor and fear the living God, and acknowledge him as Hezekiah did:

. . . you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms
of the earth; you have made heaven and earth.

Truly, O
Lord . . . [the idols] were not gods, but the work
of men's hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed.

. . . O
Lord [my] God, save [me], please . . . that all . . . may know
that you, O
Lord, are God alone. - from 2 Kings 19:15-19

Let me not go after false idols and become false, as the people of long ago. Let me honor God, and serve him alone, so that others can know him, too. Will you agree with my prayer? "Lord save me, please, from idols. Help me to see you behind the symbols and icons of faith. Help me to strip away even the most beautiful coverings that hide who you are. Please be revealed in my life today."

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