The moment I started thinking about idolatry and idols, the first thought was “what of the idol reality shows?” So, what about it? I don’t have anything about the show which is adapted locally and aired in many countries around the world. In fact the American idol discovered some of my favorite artistes. These artistes include Carrie Underwood and Ruben Studdard. I don’t have problem with the motive behind the show or its production my difficulty is the choice of word for the title. You will also see why this is a problem as you read more about the thoughts from the pew as the pulpit led in the topic “Idolatrous Generation”
The Background of this gist: Pastor was teaching on the life of the Israelites in the wilderness and he titled it “The parable of the church in the wilderness”. In the teaching, he drew out similarities from their life and ours. In his message, he made it clear that their story, now history is to make our story end better than theirs. It is important we learn the lessons very well and make use of it lest we become destroyed as they were.
From the teachings we have been able to establish beyond doubt that “that a man is blessed and favoured of God, that a man prays and God answers doesn’t mean he is approved of God.”
I need to speak a word of caution for those who may not be of the Christian faith who read the last sentence. Before the missionaries and the jihadists came to the shores of Africa, our forefathers have been spiritual and have sought after God ignorantly with the result being a polytheistic society (this actually is more or less the story of every culture at some points in their existence). Be that as it may, they had challenges and issues which are bigger than their understanding. One way or the other their faith in God worked, howbeit via idols and demigods (some are even ignorant of the existence of a higher deity). It is because God is loving and caring. His answers is not that He is approved of their ways of worship or religion but that in due time being omniscient, He knows that they will come to know how to worship in spirit and in truth. This explanation suffices for the Muslims too. That God answers your requests during solat doesn’t mean He is approved of you or of your ways. Kindly note this explanation.
Back to the Christians who are the specific audience for this message.
Many people will enjoy these vanishing blessings (e.g. wealth, wife, fame, power etc.) and miss the everlasting bliss because of two reasons: 1. Lust, 2. Idolatry 1Cor. 10:7
Idolatry is preferring something above God or above what is of God.
Note that the Word of God is not to condemn anyone, it is to correct, teach and encourage.
Idolatry is seen in our show of more respect for our salary payer than for our Life-giver
Whatever is controlling you is your God. Whatever and whoever determines your reaction and response to issues of life is your God.
Whatever and whoever you cannot do without is your god.
Whoever attracts your attention in a particular situation is your god. Who do you call when you need help, who takes the honour of your first call for help?
If God is God, He takes pre-eminence over all. None before Him, none beside Him. If there is something or a person who eclipses His pre-eminence, such thing or person has become a god.
By the way, it is possible for a pastor to love preaching more than he loves God. You may also love to serve God than you love God Himself. The foregoing may be one of the explanations behind passages like Luke 13: 25-27, Matthew. 25:12.
Here are some elements of the idolatrous generation (Exodus chapter 32):
Impatient. Exodus 32: 1. They are inventive with alternatives, so they do not wait for God. It is obvious that people who have alternatives have to exercise self-control to wait for God. In the world today, there seems to be myriads of alternatives for many situation and point of needs. If this is true, as a believer do you have alternatives to God? This is not to condemn you but so that you know that we are in a period of existence where it is so much more difficult to be patient, especially with God who doesn’t use a timepiece.
They are given and committed to alternative lifestyle. This I can best explain by “In God we trust” vs. “In Reason we trust” debate earlier mentioned in the previous post. But the essence of this point is that idolatry is seen in seeking a new high. The old time Christianity has become old-fashioned. Morality and ethics need to be reviewed and revised. I pray you understand what I am driving at because it is an inexhaustive list of godly and ungodly alternatives.
They abuse, misuse and idolise the blessings of God. God is logical. Religion made us believe He is not. We must not confuse His awesomeness and unfathomable existence and wisdom to illogicality and unreasonableness. Because you need to believe God is unreasonable for you not to believe He has purpose for everything He made and gives. God do give money, but be careful lest money (lack of it or presence of it) determines your behaviour. Whoever or whatever controls and determines your actions is your idol if it is not God.
They are prone to convenient obedience. I don’t want to say this is self-explanatory. But its explanations include doing what is good only if there is something in it for you and that when it is not demanding too much. In short, it is obeying God on our terms and in our time.
It is a fun loving generation. Vs. 6
They bring sorrow to God
They are meant for destruction. Vs. 35
1Jn 5:21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols (false gods)–[from anything and everything that would occupy the place in your heart due to God, from any sort of substitute for Him that would take first place in your life]. Amen (so let it be).