Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Word Study Wednesday: False gods and Idols

Exodus 20:6 "You shall have no other gods before me."

This verse is part of the Ten Commandments. Sadly enough, while God dictated these words to Moses, the rest of the Israelites grew impatient and fashioned their own god - a golden calf. Despite escaping from Egypt and miraculously crossing the Red Sea, the Israelites lost their faith in the one true God.

I've been reflecting on the way I live my life lately and one of the questions I keep asking myself is if I have any false gods or idols in my life. No, I do not have any carved or gilded statues in my house, but there are other ways of worshipping a false god or idol.

The Hebrew word for "gods" is "elohiym" (pronounced el-o-heem) and it simply means "God or gods." (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance).

The Hebrew word for "idol" is "eliyl" (pronounced el-eel') and it means "good for nothing; idol, no value, thing of nought."

The definition for idol seems fitting for what I use or do instead of turning to God. For example, when I'm emotionally exhausted, I make my way to food. I could turn to prayer. I tend to veg out in front of the television or Internet when I feel stressed - just to get my mind off of my issue. I could worship God and meditate on Him during those times instead.

Idolatry is some thing that we deviate to instead of God. It dilutes our faith and weakens our walk with Him. In Isaiah 1:21, the Lord says "See how the faithful city has become a harlot!" He was referring to Jerusalem and how the people, who once worshipped God, now worshipped many idols. He considered it adultery.

I have noticed though that when I rely on something else other than God, though it may temporarily satisfy me, the feeling quickly goes away. I am left empty and dreading the extra calories I just inhaled. When I turn to God, I feel full. I may still have a problem, but I have peace about it and possibly wisdom to help me with the situation. I hope I remember this though next time I'm faced with the choice to worship and pray or eat junk in front of the tv.

What about you? Do you have any idols or false gods in your life?


Loretta said...

Much truth in what you say about temporary gods, it only lasts for a while.

Good post. Glad to be back.

Terri said...

Recently I asked the Lord to reveal what idols I had in my life, so I appreciate this post Idolatry may sound "old-fashioned" or even trivial but losing your relationship with Him as a consequence, as Israel did when they turned to idolatry, is a terrible price to pay. Thanks for the lesson.

Denise Miller Holmes said...

I really get the experience of fleeting relief--relief I get from things that aren't Him. If I can just remember that next time I want a quick fix ...

dianne in colorado said...

I get trapped in the TV idol when I get tired at the end of the day. I know others who fall to facebook/twitter/blogs/other forms of social networking. The other biggie I see out there is people allowing their children to become idols. I know I have been guilty of stopping mid-prayer to take care of something for my kids. It can be hard to keep those priorities straight, but it is so worthwhile not only for us, but for our kids to learn as well.

smithsk said...

Often for me, prayer is a last resort when it should be a first resort.
I feel like Paul in Romans 7 - doing what I shouldn't, not doing what I should.
Reading good blogs like yours helps as well as getting into the Word.