Summary: Idols come in a variety of forms and will keep us from being delighted by God, delivered by God and being developed by God.
I want to conduct a little quiz this morning. I want you to raise your hand if you know the 4 following people:
Reuben Studdard (winner of American Idol contest)
Kenny Chesney (local boy, winner of his first Country Music award)
Annika Sorenstam (Best lady golfer, just competed with men in a tournament)
LaBron James (HS basketball player who just signed a $90 million contract with Nike, and will be taken first in the NBA draft)
(Comment on these three people as living a dream and being idolized by many this week.)
Today’s text speaks right to where we live today. Let’s read it. The Second Commandment says basically two things:
(1) Don’t idolize anything
(2) Worship only God
I. DON’T IDOLIZE ANYTHING
What is an idol? An idol is anything that takes the focus off God and puts it on something else.
What does your life center around? What is the primary focus? An idol doesn’t have to be a bad thing; it can be a good thing. Some people park their idols in their garage. Some people park their idol at the marina. Some people put their idols in their safe deposit box.
Archaeologists tell us that in every culture throughout history there have been idols: Statues little gods or goddesses. Man has a desire, for some reason, to turn objects or people or things into objects of worship. God does not like that. As a matter of fact He hates that! Idol worship is a serious thing. Look at verse 5, last phrase – “..of those who hate me.” God is a jealous God and desires our worship exclusively.
In Bible times there were three primary idols. There was Baal (female counter part, Ashtorah), who was the god of sex. There was Mammon who was the god of money. And, there was Molech who was the god of violence. Sex, Money, Violence – What does that sound like today? (Hollywood, movies, TV)
Our shrines are not the ones you find in the homes of those who live in the eastern part of the world made of wood, stone, clay or metal. Today we have mental images, not metal images. Our shrine in America is the little box you plug in called the TV. On it we watch and worship images of Sex, money and violence. Be careful that your children are learning to worship at these altars.
Duet. 4:15-16 (GN) says “For your own good don’t sin by making an idol in any form at all.” The emphasis is on “For your own good.” We wear our idols on our T-shirts or ball caps (eg. # 23, # 3). Or by the lack of clothes we wear – sex.
The outcome of idol worship:
A. Idols will Disappoint You
They always promise more than they can deliver. Jeremiah 10:14 says: “Those who make idols are disillusioned because the gods they made are false and lifeless.”
We think that if we wear this label we’ll be popular.
When you drink this beer it doesn’t get any better than this.
If you buy this toothpaste you’ll have sex appeal.
Anytime you put your expectation in something other than God you will be disappointed. Only God can fill the vacuum in your heart.
B. Idols will Dominate You
Paul said, “Before you knew Christ you were controlled by dead idols, who always led you astray.” (1 Cor.12:2 GN) Emphasis on the words “controlled” and “always led astray.”
The word we use today for idols is the word – “Addiction.” You can become addicted to work, sports, sex, drugs, etc. Do you have an addiction?
You will be led astray. Some men seek after a job promotion so much they neglect their families. Some people feed a habit so much that it destroys their health.
Some of you are so concerned for the approval of or disapproval of a person in your life that it dominates your life. You are not just co-dependent, you are involved in idolatry!
C. Idols will Deform You.
They will change you. They’ll warp you. We become like what we value most.
Ps. 115:8 (GN) says, Those who make idols become like them and so will those who trust in them.”
We shape an idol and then it shapes us.
Illus.- Rich young ruler (yuppie) came to Christ and said “What must I do to follow you and have eternal life?” Jesus gave an odd answer, “Sell everything, give it to the poor and come follow Me.” No other time did Jesus say that to anybody. Why did He say it to this man? Because Jesus knew this man had an idol in his life – money, his bank account. What are you holding on to today? A relationship, a lifestyle, a career, a habit? An idol!