Today's Reading: Leviticus 26-27
One does not often walk down the street of Everyday Town, USA and see people on their hands and knees worshiping a statue or a totem, images made from stone or wood. We do not see this kind of idolatry in the land, and so many of us think the worship of idols is non-existent.
Our culture likes to play with the concept of idolatry. We have a television program called "American Idol" which looks for America's favorite budding musician. Young teens especially rush home to watch this show or make sure it is recorded on their DVR. When big games are to be aired, we cut other things in our lives short to make sure we can watch them. Each of us has a favorite TV show or activity which take precedence over anything else in our lives. Are these idols?
My idol is not made of stone or wood, or even sound bytes and digital pixels, but of flesh and blood. Often, my idol is my self. I highly value my comfort, my ease, my pleasure, my status, my reputation and my security. These are the things that push to the fore and claim "shot gun," the privileged place in my life. These are subtle idols that can be masked in all sorts of charades of good intentions, honorable notions and practicalities.
Bottom line, idolatry is always a substitute for the real thing. We substitute something that is easier, more accessible or something over which we have control. As long as I value myself over God, I will never comprehend God's love or holiness. I will never know my Lord.
God continues to warn, but even more so, call to us.
Do not make idols.
Don't substitue something fake for the real thing.
I don't think the command is in support of God's ego.
I think the command is a command of love...
...for our good.