Do people still worship idols today like they did in the Old Testament?
You might think that they don’t, but idolatry is an even bigger problem today than it was back then.
Obviously you don’t see people running around bowing down to statues anymore, but almost everyone alive on earth has worshiped someone or something other than God. The most shocking and scary thing is that we as Christians often commit idolatry as well, and we don’t even realize it. Let’s look at our passage this week, which comes to us from Joshua 24:14-18. Open your Bible there and follow along as we study.
Joshua 24 shows Joshua giving a final charge to the people of Israel.
Joshua is old and about to die, and Joshua 24 serves as his goodbye speech to Israel, challenging them to remember God and live for Him.
Verses 1-13 are actually the Lord’s words to Israel spoken through Joshua reminding Israel of all that God had done for them.
Then in verses 14-18, our passage today, we see the speech shift to a challenge from Joshua himself to the people of Israel. He challenges them to continue worshiping God and living only for Him, not worshiping idols.
Verse 15 is where we get the famous quote, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” which you’ve probably seen somewhere in at least 1 person’s house before.
In verse 15, he uses some irony by sarcastically suggesting other gods that they could worship, such as the gods their fathers served or the gods of the Amorites. He is basically saying, “You can worship those gods, but good luck with that!”
Thankfully in Verses 16-18, Israel agrees with Joshua and refuses to worship idols, remembering all that God had done for them. They commit themselves to following only the true God. This response from the Israelites should be our response as well.
So the big question is; how do we make sure we are serving only God and not idols today?
You may think that you’ve never committed idolatry. After all, you’ve never worshiped a statue or prayed to a god that doesn’t exist. The sad reality is that all of us have committed idolatry, and you probably do every day without even realizing it.
Idolatry isn’t just worshiping an idol, it’s loving anything more than God. Jesus even says in Matthew 10:37-39 that those who love their family more than Him are committing idolatry.
We can see idolatry in our priorities, most of all.
What we make most important in life and spend the most time doing is naturally what we love the most.
Do you make reading the Bible, praying, and going to church regularly more important than anything else in your life?
If you’re missing church all the time for sports or because you’re tired, or you’re not reading the Bible because you’re too busy playing video games, you are putting other things like sports, sleep, and video games before God.
In God’s eyes, that’s idolatry, and you are making those things your god.
Trust me, I know this is really hard, and I’m just as bad at making God most important in my life as you are, but it’s something we all need to realize is a problem and do our best to fix. The comforting thing is, God is there to help us conquer our idolatry if we just ask Him.
So today, ask God to help you make Him the most important thing in your life, and then take action. Instead of constantly playing sports or video games, take some time to sit down and worship God today.
The more time you spend with God, the easier it will be to love Him above anything else.
Let’s talk in the comments below:
What are some things that distract us from loving God above anything else?
How has God helped you conquer idols in your life?
Don’t forget to order your journal now to get it in time for our next study.
We will begin the book of Judges on Monday, October 17th.
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