Idolatry / by kevin murray

Should we be worried about Idolatry?  For we read in Holy Scripture, "You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourselves an idol…"  (Exodus 20: 3-4).   The simple answer for most people is that of course they do not have any idols before God, for they do not worship golden calves, or Baal, or so on and so forth.  However, a more careful and nuanced understanding about this admonition in regards to idols and specifically in regards to this commandment involves the recognition that we must not make things that are lesser than our one true God, some sort of god; because far too many people are inclined to do exactly that, and that in itself is a form of idol worship.


For instance, those that worship the creation of some of the wonders of the world, such as seeing the great natural beauty that this earth can and does represent, to the exclusion of a belief in God, is putting what has been created by the hand of God, above the creator of it.  So too, those that are taking their work, no matter how noble or important such work represents, as the be all and end all of their existence, are seeing that labor as being of more importance than the recognition of the fact, that it is our God, that is the ultimate provider.  Then there are those that see their family as being the highest possible priority in their life, and as wonderful as having a loving and close family is, it is a mistake and a failure not to recognize that we are all children, of the very same God.


In all of these areas, the mistake that has been made is to take what is lesser than God, and treat such as something that is greater or of more value than God, and therefore in its way, this is a form of idolatry.  Further to the point, to put those things that are lesser than God, above God, invariably will lead to disappointment and heartbreak, because that which is not God, and therefore is not omniscient, nor omnipotent, nor immutable, nor eternal, is placing our faith in something that can never be of full satisfaction for us.


While there isn't anything wrong, and in fact there is a lot that is right, with seeing the beauty in this world, or laboring hard and diligently, and being good to one's family, to fail to recognize that to stop just there, is to stop before comprehending that the true objective of life is to find oneself in harmony with the Creator of all that ever is and ever will be.   After all, the point of all this great and wonderful creation, as well as the freedom of our mind, is to thereby freely desire to find and thereby to know who the Creator of it all, actually is.  For to settle for that which is less then what is the Truth, is to accept half truths as truth, and thereby to live lives of disappointment and heartbreak, for that which is less than God, or is not even part of God, is, by definition, going to lead invariably to disappointment and defeat.


Therefore, do not accept idols as the substitute for God, no matter how alluring or tempting that they may be, for that will inevitably lead to regret and sorrow; whereas, that which is God, is truly the end of all sorrows and the full restoration of that which was lost.