Location: New England, United States

Monday, April 18, 2005

Worshiping Idols

With all the failings we confess to the Lord, we seldom count the worship of idols as one of our sins. As Christians, we do not hug trees, pray to the sun or dance around bonfires on the summer solstice. Perhaps we may sneak a peek at our horoscope, but we don't really believe in that stuff - it is just for our own entertainment. We are after all Christians, and we worship the one true God.

Long ago, there was a man who also worshipped the one true God. His name was Abraham, and God had promised Abraham a son. Abraham waited many years for the fulfillment of that promise, but finally his wife, Sarah, gave birth to Isaac. Isaac was the pride and joy of his father - and therein lies the idol. God waited on his promise until both Abraham and Sarah were spiritually ready to receive their son, but that long wait caused them to place Isaac above all others - including the Lord.

" When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. Then Abraham put forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son." Genesis 22:9-10 RSV

Abraham realized his sin and was willing to lay his son on the altar of sacrifice to prove to God that he had repented. What are we willing to place before the Lord? Do you miss Bible Study because your favorite TV program airs at the same time? Do you miss Sunday school so you can cut the grass before it rains? Are you willing to give your tithe to the Lord even when the car needs repairs? Will you lay your pride on the altar when God is telling you to make peace with your brother? Even when you know you are right - will you be the first to ask for forgiveness from someone who has hurt you?

Even gifts from God can become idols when we place them on a higher plane than Him. Anything in your life - including self- that you are not willing to lay on the altar of sacrifice has become an idol.

Perhaps God will never test you as he tested Abraham, but what if he does?


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