I am reading through the Bible in Chronological order this year. Presently I am in the middle of Deuteronomy. The Books of the Law have begun to be really fascinating and wonderful to read. I was in chapter 17 and read this:
If there is found among you… a man or woman who does what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God… and has gone and served other gods and worshiped them… and it is true and certain that such abomination has been done in Israel, then you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has done this evil thing, and you shall stone that man or woman to death… (Deut. 17.2-5)
How could they get to this point? How could the people of Israel individually or as a community, get to the point where they actually bow down, sacrifice to, and worship another, false deity? God very clearly saved them, but they went astray and served others on so many occasions.
Oh, I get it…
When they turned from God to worship the creation, they were saying, “my worth is found in you, in you I put my trust”. That is the same thing we do with our stuff. Human beings are first and foremost worshipers. Today, this means that we ascribe honor and glory to our technology, freak out if our savings dip too low, and even put great pride in our God-given abilities. God is not pleased when honor that he deserves is given to another. In fact, He commanded death for those who bowed to other deities.
There is hope
Consider how often God reclaimed His people Israel (for a hint of this, see Ezekiel 16). They failed, repented, and were taken back. God often promised them things while they were still far away, and while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. If we repent of our obvious sin against God, He will take away our idolatrous hearts and make himself the object of our worship. We must begin to worship our God as the savior and sustainer of all things and echo Paul:
–all things were created through [Christ] and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Col. 1.16-17)