I’ve been reading through I & II Kings lately and am astonished at how many pagan practices God’s people adopted. Depending on the king and whether he submitted to the law of the Lord or not, the people often threw their children into Molech’s fiery mouth or set up idol worship in their own homes. They stripped the precious metals out of the Lord’s temple and gave it to neighboring nations in an attempt to buy their allegiance (and protection). They thought they were covering all their bases; being wise by “appeasing to all the gods”, when ironically, their misplaced devotion rebelled against the only God who could really help them.
“I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. ” ~Is. 42:8
We scoff at their ignorance. After all, what can a golden calf or a carved pole do? But don’t we bow to gods just as dead and worthless? Green paper bills, diplomas, awards, metal on wheels, etc. We even justify our allegiance and devotion by saying “well, it’s just wise.” We think we are putting our eggs in different baskets and guaranteeing our success, when maybe the reality is we’ve just lost trust in God to be all-sufficient for us. Been there before? I know I have. Even though I know (mentally assert to this fact) that God is the only one who can rescue me, I still act like I might be strong enough, my money might be sufficient enough, and my body might be capable enough.
” I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior. ” ~Is. 43:11
Satan, the Enemy of the Father, tempts us to think that our idols aren’t that bad. After all, we aren’t sacrificing our children to them (at least not physically, right?). We are only doing what is reasonable–what makes sense. If you look back at the wars Israel encountered, it “made more sense” for them to make alliances with pagan nations who were strong and able instead of choosing, “Okay, we will get our hearts right and repent and trust in an invisible God to protect us.” Despite their history with God (all the miraculous ways He’d delivered them), their faith was puny and they clung to the dead tangible forms.
Satan’s tactics haven’t changed much. He employed the same temptations to Jesus, and Christ’s followers for the last 2,000 years.
Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” (Matt. 4:10). Jesus rebuked Satan, but do we? Do we even recognize how allured we are to put our security elsewhere?
” But I am the Lord your God from the land of Egypt; you know no God but me, and besides me there is no savior. ” ~Hosea 13:4
Full of empty promises, the Enemy will lure you away toward destruction, but our Father gently beckons us to draw near and find our soul’s deepest security and peace.
Open the door wide to your heart and let the Holy Spirit have full reign. And when Satan comes knocking, slam the door in his face.