Habakkuk 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!
As we look through the Old Testament of the Bible and see many examples of idol worship, it’s easy to arrogantly think that we’ve come so far from that way of life. It seems so silly that someone would fashion an idol out of wood or bronze and then worship something that they had just created. We know in our minds that God is the one worthy of worship as the Creator, but still we do worship the created.
Don’t think that this is true today? How about extreme environmentalism where man worships the earth, which God created? Or how about trusting in money to get you everything you want from position to health to security? Some of us even worship our own children, building our entire lives around their little needs and wants. We do worship idols that aren’t worthy of our full devotion. There’s nothing wrong with taking care of the earth, earning money, or loving your children. All of those are good things. But when they are the main focus of our lives, they are our gods.
Habakkuk rightly points out the absurdity of putting our trust in and directing our worship towards idols we’ve created and expecting them to better our lives somehow. Only God Himself is worthy to be praised and He deserves our full attention and devotion.
1 Corinthians 10:4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.
Every bit of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, points us to Jesus. The foreshadowing given, the pictures painted, all are for the glory of God and to teach us about His character. The Old Testament and the Law set up the coming Christ and His fulfillment of the Law. Study of God’s Word can teach us lessons we never realized could be learned from these stories.
Paul shows us, in His letter to the church in Corinth, that the story of Moses in the wilderness with the children of Israel is more than just a story. The rock that Moses struck (Exodus 17:6) was more than just a rock, and this was more than just God showing His power. This, like so many other biblical illustrations, points us to Jesus, who is The Rock. In Him we find living water, water better than that which flowed to the thirsty people of Israel.
But this is also an illustration of what happens when we corrupt what is of God and celebrate it as man’s own (Numbers 20:10-11). The story of Moses striking the rock when God told him only to speak to it is a look at how we can be so quick to disobey God and make an idol out of our own achievements. Moses knew that once he had make water come from a rock by striking it with his stick, so when God told him to speak to the rock, Moses disobeyed and tried to repeat his previous feat. Moses took what was good and corrupted it. You know the rest of the story, he didn’t get to enter into the promised land with his people. Even with a great man like Moses, God didn’t tolerate idolatry.
Jesus is the true Rock, He is the source of all things good. Because we’ve experienced His goodness in the past, we can be too quick to assume that we had something to do with the blessings and try to get the same results in our own strength. This is idolatry, making ourselves into our own gods. There is only one Rock that has the water of life, and it’s Jesus.
Ephesians 5:5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
It seems impossible today to escape from the constant deluge of sexual content streaming into our homes, our workplaces, even our schools. Everyone is exposed to sexually immoral media everyday and it’s sold as a completely natural thing to embrace.
God has a different idea about sex, however. He calls certain things good and other things wrong and immoral. It’s not always about what’s good and what’s bad though. Even a good thing can be a bad thing when it takes the place of God. When we think about sex too much, talk about sex too much, and seek after sex too much, we make it an idol.
Isn’t it interesting that this passage in Ephesians talks about both sexual immorality and idolatry as if they were one and the same? We can idolize many things: wealth, career, respect, fashion, but all too often the thing we place above all others is sex. It was the same in the Apostle Paul’s day and nothing has changed. Anything we prioritize more than God is an idol and He calls us to put it away and look to Him first and foremost.
Jonah 2:8 Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love.
Where are you looking to find hope in this lost world? If you’re looking for hope to come from the government, or from financial security, or even the prospect of world peace, you’re going to be disappointed.
There’s no hope to be found in the things this world has to offer. That may sound depressing, but there is good news. Salvation is found in God alone. Maybe you’ll never find hope where you’re searching, but God is holding out His hand for you to grab onto, offering you hope that you could never know without Him. He’s for you and He wants to give you that hope.
Even though we waste a lot of our time looking in all the wrong places, only to be disappointed time and time again, it’s good to know that there is hope after all. It’s good to know that we have a loving Father who cares for us and provides for us a way to forgiveness and reconciliation. It’s good to know that the Son, who is the radiance of the glory of God (Hebrews 1:3) and who holds all things together (Colossians 1:17) stands between us and the Father to serve as our mediator. It’s good to know that the Savior who rose from the dead will also raise us up when the time comes (1 Corinthians 15:16).
If you haven’t put your hope in Jesus, look to Him today. He’s all you need in this life, and the next.