Monday, March 16, 2009

1 John 5:21 - Idolatry


1 John 5:21
21 Little children, guard yourselves from idols.


John finishes his letter rather abruptly, but the exhortation is as applicable now as it was then:  flee idolatry.  This may be the most basic problem that we have, our tendency towards idolatry.  It is so important to God that He made it the focus of the first 2 commandments:

Exodus 20:2-6
2 "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

3 "You shall have no other gods before Me.

4 "You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 5 "You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

Today, few of us are perhaps tempted to fashion an idol for ourselves or to visit the temple of a false god -- though they still exist in great number -- but we find other ways of idol worship.  These other ways may not always be easily identified, but perform the same function. 

Anything that we put before God becomes an idol in our lives.  Ironically, ministry work can become an idol, if we are more focused on the activity of the church than the Creator of it.  Of course our possessions and hobbies are obvious areas of temptation, but even relationships can become an idol.  It's all too easy to allow friendships, romantic relationships, marriage, even children to consume our lives, and sacrifice spending quality time with our heavenly Father.


Lord, may I keep my guard up against idolatry.  Reveal to me any places of failure in my life.  Keep my heart fully devoted to You, above all else.


Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.