Now they sin more and more,
And have made for themselves molded images,
Idols of their silver, according to their skill;
All of it is the work of craftsmen.
They say of them,
“Let the men who sacrifice kiss the calves!”
In Hosea 13 we see where God gets very frustrated with the Israelites because of their sin and their disobedience, mainly their worship of idols. We here in the land of the red, white and blue don't think much about idol worship because we don't melt down our gold and silver and make images of them to worship them. Well before we can truly say this, we must understand what the Israelites were doing? First an idol is anything that takes the place of God. Anything that you as an individual make more important than God. In America that can be anything. It can be the newly constructed deer stand. It can be the golf course. It can be the movie theatre. Idols can come in the form of the TV. A singer, a movie star, a shopping spree. It can be food. It can be clothing. It can be our hobbies. There are so many things that takes the place of God in the lives of the American people. We must guard against those things. You may ask the question, does this mean that hunting, listening to music, playing golf shopping etc. is a sin. My answer, not within itself...you make it a sin when you give it the wrong position in your life. I have blogged before that God will occupy only one position in your life and that is the position of number ONE. You are only fooling yourself if you think He will take slot four, five, six or even two. He is not even interested in one and a half. So how do we make something and idol? When we say yes to it and no to God. Let me give you some examples, you know God wants you to study His Word, spend time with Him, pray and communicate with Him on a daily basis. You are a very busy person, work a lot of hours so you try to spend time with God during the day but life takes over and there are not enough hours and opportunity just slips away. This happens over and over but you just keep saying, "it will be ok... maybe one day I will have enough time." You think about getting up earlier and having time with Jesus first thing, but you say things like this, "I just can't get up in the morning," or "I am just way to tired during the day when I get up that early." Well here comes fall and the leaves start falling, coolness fills the air, October rolls in and something amazing happens, you can get up long before the sun comes up and hunt every single chance you get? But what happened to I just can't get up? What happened to just being too tired all day long? Idol worship kicked in and it brings you false hope and destructive energy. How about this, the church is helping with the homeless shelter this weekend and have asked the congregation for volunteers. You feel moved to serve and ask about the details. Detail number one, we will meet at the church at 8:30am Saturday morning. CRISIS ALERT!!! CRISIS ALERT!!! You go shopping with your girl friends each Saturday morning and you just can't miss this time. You might say things like, "I just have to have this time, it relaxes me and gives me the peace I need to get through another week, not to mention it keeps me in touch with my dear friends" or you might say, "Well I will just give them a donation." You get up Saturday and worship hard and I am sure you are better off because of it...NOT A CHANCE! One more example, the guys at work are talking about helping a family in need at christmas and they are taking up donations. You don't know why but you feel like you should give $50.00. You think about it and you say but I have this golf tournament this weekend and I have to buy the new iphone26 (that you will stand in line for 2 hours for) on Friday. So you decide to give $10.00. That same night you take your family to dinner for a warm and welcoming $56.50. But look at this way the idol worship was free! You see the bottom line we can make anything an idol when it is more important than God and what He is telling us to do. Please see that the Israelites took their gold and silver to melt down for the idols they worshiped. Where are your spending your money? Does it come before God? They used their God given talents and skill to make these idols? What are you doing with the gifts God has given you? What are you doing with your skills? Are you a walking testimony for Jesus at your workplace or are you a walking testimony for the world and worldly living? The Israelites said, "let the men who sacrifice, kiss the calves." Where are you affections? Do you show God and those you love that you love them through tender loving care? Or is that reserved for the movies?
Reaching for Him,
Brother Big Daddy