Read Psalm 115
Featured Verse: Psalm 115:8
“Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.”
I knew that title would catch your attention. American Idol—the wildly popular television talent show captures the imaginations of Americans by the millions. People of all ages, shapes and sizes tune in and cast their vote for the current season’s version of the latest, greatest singing sensation to hit the airwaves. Just think about it, more votes will be cast for America’s next idol than America’s next president. And one lucky dude, or dudette, who was just as un-famous as you and me only weeks prior, will hit instantaneous stardom—he or she will become the next American Idol.
By the way, I love the show, so the purpose of this blog is not to trash it—although, obviously, far too many people are way out of balance in their adoration of anything celebrity. But I do think we have an idol problem in our culture today. Just like the people to whom the psalmist referred, we, too, have our idols, and we would be wise to take note of his warning that not only will these idols come to certain doom, but so will those who have created them, and so will those who elevate them to places of importance in their lives.
Of course, we don’t worship literal images made of wood, stone, silver or gold like the ancients did, but wouldn’t you agree that we are just as susceptible to the seduction of the less visible but more sophisticated idols of wealth, celebrity, power and pleasure? Don’t you agree that the love of money, the pursuit of fame—or at least the homage we pay to those who have attained it—the jockeying for top position and the relentless indulgence of self stand between many and their full and singular devotion to God?
Perhaps, in all honesty, you would have to admit that this includes you. Maybe you sometimes struggle with hanging on to “your” money when you really ought to be investing it in God’s work. Perhaps you wrestle with the desire to be known and admired for what you have done when you should really be offering acts of selfless, anonymous servanthood. It could be that there are times when it is difficult for you to put the things of God ahead of your own plans for pleasure and entertainment.
If you are placing importance, expending energy and making personal investment in things that drown out your full-throttle devotion to God, you have turned those very things into an idol. But here’s the deal: At the end of the day, those things will have amounted to nothing. They cannot speak, see, hear, smell, feel, act or offer anything that benefits your walk with Christ today or your preparation for eternity. (Psalm 115:5-7) The wealth, power, pleasure and fame they may produce in this life will crumble on that day when all creation stands before Almighty God—and so will all who have worshiped them either in the place of or alongside of God.
Don’t give your worship to another. It belongs to God alone. Worship God and he will be your protection (Psalm 115:9-11), your provision ((Psalm 115:12-13), your prosperity ((Psalm 115:14-15) and your peace (Psalm 115:16-18).
No idol will do that for you—American or otherwise. Only God can, and he alone is worthy of your full-throttle devotion.