Daily Readings and Thought for September 18th. “TURN AWAY FROM YOUR IDOLS”
There are many idols in the world today. Modern means of instant communication have made it possible to promote news about all kinds of things, especially what people are doing and achieving in sports and entertainment.
The best achievers are put on a pedestal – and many admire and idolize them. These people make enormous amounts of money, especially entertainers and sports stars. All the best footballers in the AFL become millionaires. Pop stars become multi-millionaires, even billionaires! They are adored (worshipped?) by idolizing fans.
Our Ezekiel reading (Ch. 14) is all about idols. Long ago all the nations, apart from Israel, worshipped idols instead of the one true God. Why? The way they worshipped idols appealed to human nature. There were temple prostitutes in attendance in the temples of these idols, other orgies took place there; it appealed greatly to baser human instincts.
God tells Ezekiel to “speak to them and say … anyone … who takes his idols into his heart and sets the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face and yet comes to the prophet, I the LORD will answer him …Thus says the Lord GOD: Repent and turn away from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations” [v.4,6] He adds, “anyone … who separates himself from me … I will set my face against that person” [v.7,8]
Today, God surely takes the same attitude to those who turn from him and allow godless attitudes to thrive in their minds, but then on Sunday come to worship and sing hymns … we cannot expect God’s attitude to be any different to what it was in the days of Ezekiel.
Those who today have come out from this godless world can see this most clearly and fully appreciate the words of Paul, “You were slaves of sin … but what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? … become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.” [Romans 6 v.20-22] “Turn away from your idols.”