Idolatry leads to secrecy, self-destruction, temporary fulfillment, jealousy, exposure, and spiritual death.
Leaves continue to fall, days are shorter, the calendar moves forward without permission. This is the time of year I long to freeze the calendar, cozy up in a corner with a good book or three. The moving of time has brought us to the second half of 31 Mornings in The Word. Wow! For those of you who continue to follow along, many thanks. Your feedback is welcomed!
Today’s words are perhaps the hardest words to write as I sweep my own idols out of the closet for you to see. We like our idols hidden, shrouded in secrecy.
Let’s peek at the idolatry going on in Ezekial, chapter 8:
“The Lord said to me, ‘Son of man, look toward the north.’ I looked to the north, and there was this offensive statue north of the Alter Gate, at the entrance. He said to me, ‘Son of man, do you see what they are doing here-more detestable acts that the house of Israel is committing-so that I must depart from my sanctuary? You will see even more detestable acts.’
Then he brought me to the entrance of the court, and when I looked there was a hole in the wall. He said to me, ‘Son of man, dig through the wall.’ So I dug through the wall and discovered a doorway. He said to me, ‘Go in and see the detestable, wicked acts they are committing here.'”Ezekiel 8:8-9 CSB
God gives Ezekiel a vision, the first thing he sees in the temple is an idol. According to Warren W. Wiersbe’s commentary, the idol is called, “the image of jealousy, because idolatry provokes the Lord who is jealous of His people.”
In Ezekiel, chapter eight, we get a glimpse of open idolatry and hidden idols. Ezekiel, instructed to look north, sees an offensive statue north of the Altar Gate, at the entrance. Ezekiel is taken deeper in his vision, told by God to dig through a wall, go in and see the detestable, wicked acts being committed. The farther Ezekiel is taken in, the more detestable the wicked acts become, sickening God. God responds with wrath. What follows, the saddest words I can imagine hearing from God.
“Therefore I will respond with wrath. I will not show pity or spare them. Though they call loudly in my hearing, I WILL NOT LISTEN TO THEM.” Ezekiel 8:18 (CSB) (emphasis mine)
“I’m so thankful I am not like these people,” marches across my heart.
Only. I am. I also prefer keeping them hidden. Hidden, my idolatry goes undetected. I can almost pretend it doesn’t exist. Do you experience the same?
I have not driven in four and one-half years. Impulse trips to Target or Marshall’s, while sipping on the sweet nectar of Starbucks, are no longer a part of my days. However, I can scroll through my laptop, finding a plethora of shopping sites to peruse. Amazon, and other sites, bring me instant gratification without leaving home. One push of a button and I can order anything I want.
For someone who is mostly home-bound, that is more temptation than I can stand. On top of that, books are my love language. Between social media, advertisements, and my own imagined need to have books, this has become an idol. An idol I struggle to kick from my heart. A temptation clamoring for my attention.
To make matters worse, I am prone to seal my lips, not letting my Sweet Man know I have ordered anything. Not only is he the spiritual head of our home, he keeps our budget and finances in order. I should be speaking to him before I purchase, rather than hoping the UPS truck shows up while he is out! It never plays out that way, and I am forced to come clean. Friends, you know I am speaking hard truths here.
I have built an idol, my own golden calf, from the confines of my home, justifying it with my illness. Concealing it from my Sweet Man, my idol becomes a source of contention. My idolatry becomes a source of secrecy, denial, over-spending, temporary fulfillment, exposure, and disappointment on my Sweet Man’s face.
I carry the guilt, the heavy weight of sin, that I must continually work to rid myself of. If not, there is the cost of spiritual death. OUCH!
“The sorrows of those who take another god for themselves will multiply.” Psalms 18:4a (CSB)
My friend, do not despair, we are a continual work in progress. The key is to continue taking our idols before the Throne of Grace, destroying them.
Gifts of Grace
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I’m blessed to serve you in this place, to share with you the Gifts of Grace as I journey through the wilderness. I picture you across the table, hands wrapped tightly around your cup, sharing life, and laughter, and tears. As I share with you, my daily struggles, I long to hear what yours may be. You can do that by commenting below or reaching out to me here.
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