I love the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. My NYC artist daughter says that the collection there is considerable, and she would know. I’m a particular fan of the antiquities section, Egypt and all that, and Bob always likes to visit the Orientals. Of course, part of the artwork that is preserved has to do with the culture’s endemic religious artifacts, including the stone/metal/wooden idols, some little and some not so little (there’s a Buddha in the stairwell that would not even fit in my house….)
Of course, in our post-modern (whatever that is), enlightened and highly scientific American society, we are not duped by such things, the like of which some cultures still cling to today. Right?
I remember, as a young pre-teen, finding out that, in reality, we do. Things like Money, Status, Relationships, or Anything that we set up as more important than loving and obeying God—that is an idol. I seem to recall at the beginning of this epiphany that the one idol I had which wouldn’t even fit into my emotional house at the time was “Popularity”. Ouch.
Here’s what God says about idolatry, ancient or post-modern:
“The idols of the nations are merely things of silver and gold, shaped by human hands. They have mouths but cannot speak, and eyes but cannot see. They have ears but cannot hear, and mouths but cannot breathe. And those who make idols are just like them, as are all who trust in them.”
Sheesh, no wonder God was all over the Israelites time and again for their penchant toward idol worship! Spiritual blindness, deafness, and even the ability to discern and speak truth, were seriously compromised; in fact their very identity was attacked and shrouded.
And nothing’s changed today. Putting my identity, my worship, my security, in anyone or anything other than Jesus is idolatry. It becomes evident in my choices, and my use of time and resources. And like many of the idols from the past covered with silver and gold, pretty to look at with all that sparkle, there’s nothing of worth underneath.
Personally, I prefer authenticity to sparkle.
Psalm 135: 15-18 Tyndale House Publishers Inc (2008-06-01). The One Year Bible NLT (One Year Bible: Nlt) (Kindle Locations 19817-19820). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.