Real vs False

Exodus 20:2-6     “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.  You shall have no other gods before me.  You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.  You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.”    

Deuteronomy 4:15-19     “Therefore watch yourselves very carefully.  Since you saw no form on the day that the LORD spoke to you at the Horeb out of the midst of the fire, beware lest you act corruptly by making a carved image for your selves, in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth.  And beware lest your raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.

Psalms 115:4-8     but there are silver and gold, made by human hands.  They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see.  They have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but cannot smell.  They have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but cannot walk, nor can they utter a sound with their throats.  Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.

Isaiah 42:17     They are turned back and utterly put to shame, who trust in carved idols who say to metal images, “You are our gods.”

Isaiah 44:6, 9-18     Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. . . . (18)   They know not nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand.

Habbakuk 2:18     “What profit is an idol when its maker has shaped it, a metal image, a teacher of lies?  For its maker trusts in his own creation when he makes speechless idols!  Woe to him who says to a wooden thing, Awake; to a silent stone, Arise!  Can this teach?  Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in it.             

1 Corinthians 10:14     Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry


God created everything—everything.  So, as I look around, I am impressed, well, very impressed.  I love to see the moon, and as I write this, it is full tonight and we will be able to enjoy another later this month, in about 28 days or so.  How cool is that? 

The past two days have given us slightly cooler mornings, and drier air.  The only things I dislike about summer is the increase in annoying bugs and the hot humid air when I open my door at 6 AM.  It almost takes your breath away—except it’s hard to suck in air!  I love the sun and longer days of summer, and while walking the dogs get the privilege of seeing that sun peek, that majestically rise and make its presence known.  How awesome—and yes, it has taken my breath away in appreciation of His creativity and where He has placed me to live for this chapter of life.  I am blessed to see His sunrise, and then thank Him for glorious sunsets. 

But that’s only a small part of what my Creator has created.  He has created the full sky with its numerous stars and constellations.  He sometimes sends me a couple of falling stars to lift my heart and thank Him for.  (He knows I love falling stars and appreciate heart and to spot them as they are quite rare to see).

Oh, but wait, that is not all.  Look at that vast ocean, and the sound, and I used to be able to catch a glimpse of the intercoastal waterway, but the trees have it mostly covered.  Once in a while I can see a tall sail moving north or south, but that is about it.  So, this big ocean has dolphins and other sea life living in it.  I am not a fisherperson so cannot identify any fish that might be caught, but when the dolphin are fishing or lazily meandering by, I again am amazed and pleased and thanking Him for the blessing of my eyes to see, and enjoy the site of this lone or maybe get to thrill at a pod of them! 

And of course, there are hills, mountains, and then higher mountains still.  The vistas of the Alps whether in Germany, Austria, Italy or Switzerland are stunning, often even in the early summer still covered at the peaks with snow.  I haven’t enjoyed the mountains of Colorado, but it’s on my list.  I want to see and wonder at the redwoods of California, the wildlife in more remote areas than the east coast of America.  The only shooting I would do would be the taking of pictures of these impressive animals—elk, bear, deer, and so much more.  He blessed this world with all Creation.

And yet, some want to honor and revere idols.  Idols are man-made objects usually—made by man’s hands, and yet somehow some feel the made object can be thanked and worshiped.  I don’t get it.  You silly person—YOU made it, it is NOT alive, it is inanimate—no ears, no brain, no feeling, no creation or possibility of helping you. 

I don’t understand, and never will.  But the worst kind of idol honoring to me, is self-worship.  Many fall into this category of idol worship.  They believe they are responsible for their talent as a sports star, a gamer on a computer, a wonderful author, a great investor, a skilled and talented physician who has saved many, a person who has thought things through and always made the best decisions alone—certainly not seeking God’s input, and only the input of the idol of self.  People serve money, power, their jobs, and various toys–boats, ATVs, and phones, newest computers, and on and on the lists go.

Tim Tebow has said that there were times he had thoughts of how valued he was for his team, and what a good player he was—then the Holy Spirit would step up and remind him that God was leading and he was following; and he needed to remember that he, Tim, was not solely responsible for his or the team’s success. 

I think it can be fairly easy to slide into self-worship, the acknowledgement you may be the one who is studying and working hard at the course, you are the one exercising and doing the football or baseball drills repeatedly, or dribbling a soccer or basketball to your scoring end, it’s your talent, hard work that lead to the success of the team, or your 4.0 average.  Afterall, you worked for it.

But it’s a dangerous thing to not acknowledge our Creator in what we do and accomplish.  He gives us skills, talents, physical attributes, mental abilities, and most of the gifts we have which help us to achieve something in a certain area.  But it is always Him we should thank daily.  God loves us to recognize He gifted us in certain areas, and then thank Him.  Our Father, our God loves to be recognized and thanked for His blessings. 

He wants us to be conscious daily of what He has given us daily—nature—sun, moon, stars, rainfall, flowers, ocean, sky, birds, etc.  How could He have created a large bird like the pelican or vulture to fly with the grace they do?  The pelicans are awesome to me—if you watch it can sometimes look as though their bellies will bump into the roofline of the house they are gliding over. 

The only idol we should ever revere is our Creator, our God, who has never just let us stumble alone without His guidance.  We have stumbled and fallen away from Him at times.  One of the consequences God and we face when we mess up and step and CHOOSE to step away from God, and start being in charge of our own lives.