Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, first posted on January 16, 2016, is provided by Joanna Tzen who was a long-standing member of Grace Covenant Church in Philadelphia.
Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend
“The Idolatry of Today”
Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15 for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.
Over the holiday break, my husband and I visited Los Angeles with my parents. Our only non-food related destination was the Getty Villa, along the Pacific coast. It is a museum established by the late oil tycoon J. Paul Getty that showcases ancient artifacts from Greece and Rome. Among the many artifacts, we saw statues of household gods found in Roman empire from the first century. It was amazing to see what we had read in the Bible come to life before our eyes. The book of Deuteronomy chronicles the last years of the Israelites in the desert under the leadership of Moses. Chapter 6 is part of a speech Moses makes before leadership is transferred to Joshua. He reminds the Israelites of the Lord’s faithfulness and the laws that were handed down at Mount Sinai. In the chapter before, Moses reiterates the ten commandments and spends the whole next chapter on the greatest commandment—to love the Lord. Seeing statues of golden calves, sacrificial altars and tangible likenesses of deities at the museum made me think of the things we bow down to in our modern day that may not be made of gold or wood. In our day, we can worship our careers, relationships, success in the eyes of the world as defined by money or approval, or even righteousness through religious duties. This happens when we let good things become the ultimate thing. It can happen when hard times that we don’t understand come our way and we decide God doesn’t know best, but we do. The Israelites struggled with this too, when they complained about their time in the desert and made the golden calf. Maybe we aren’t so different after all. Let us come to the Lord with humble hearts, asking Him to reveal our idols and the help of the Holy Spirit to return to our first love (Rev. 2:4) Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me first (1 Jn. 4:19) when I was completely unlovable. Forgive me for the things I have put before You and trusting in others more than I trust You. Remind me of Your faithfulness. Thank You that You never let me go. Bible Reading for Today: Numbers 22-2