Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Coveting and idolatry



We know that He is always walking with us.  We know that He sees everything we are struggling with and everything we are going through.  We know that He sees what we need, and we know that He will provide it for us.  Praise Him today for His omniscience, His omnipotence, and His omnipresence, and rest in the knowledge that He will never leave you or forsake you.

Even though Israel had seen the invisible God in action, they still wanted something familiar that they could see and shape into whatever image they desired. In doing so, they were ignoring the command he had just given them: "You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea" (Exodus 20:4). They may even have thought they were worshiping God. Their apparent sincerity was no substitute for obedience and no excuse for disobedience.

Our great temptation still is to shape a god to our liking, to make him convenient to obey or ignore. Even if we do not make idols, we are often guilty of trying to make God in our image, molding him to fit our expectations, desires, and circumstances. When we do this, we end up worshiping ourselves rather than the God who created us—and self-worship leads to all kinds of immorality. The gods we create blind us to the love that God wants to shower on us.

First, According to CEO, S. Michael Houdmann, of Gotquestions we worship at the altar of materialism which feeds our need to build our egos through the acquisition of more “stuff.” Our homes are filled with all manner of possessions. We build bigger and bigger houses with more closets and storage space in order to house all the things we buy, much of which we haven’t even paid for yet. Most of our stuff has “planned obsolescence” built into it, making it useless in no time, and so we consign it to the garage or other storage space. Then we rush out to buy the newest item, garment or gadget and the whole process starts over. This insatiable desire for more, better, and newer stuff is nothing more than covetousness. The tenth commandment tells us not to fall victim to coveting: "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor" (Exodus 20:17). God doesn’t just want to rain on our buying sprees. He knows we will never be happy indulging our materialistic desires because it is Satan’s trap to keep our focus on ourselves and not on Him.

We worship at the altar of our own pride and ego. This often takes the form of obsession with careers and jobs. Millions of men—and increasingly more women—spend 60-80 hours a week working. Even on the weekends and during vacations, our laptops are humming and our minds are whirling with thoughts of how to make our businesses more successful, how to get that promotion, how to get the next raise, how to close the next deal. In the meantime, our children are starving for attention and love. We fool ourselves into thinking we are doing it for them, to give them a better life. But the truth is we are doing it for ourselves, to increase our self-esteem by appearing more successful in the eyes of the world. This is folly. All our labors and accomplishments will be of no use to us after we die, nor will the admiration of the world, because these things have no eternal value. As King Solomon put it, “For a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then he must leave all he owns to someone who has not worked for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun? All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 2:21-23). (1)

We read in Colossians 3:5, “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”

It is not a sin to admire something. It is not a sin to want to be successful in business or to make a good living. But if you become obsessed with it and are willing to do whatever it takes to get it, when that is the most important thing in life to you, that can become coveting and idolatry.

Blessings,

Raj Kosaraju



References:

(1) CEO, S. Michael Houdmann, http://www.gotquestions.org/idolatry-     modern.html#ixzz2TIDOB0u0





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