Friday in the Third Week of Lent

Our Idols Become Our God

A scribe asked Jesus what is the greatest commandment. His answer left no room for idolatry:

“The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”   (Mark 12:29–31)

Our worldly idols will not save us. The things in this world which entertain us to the point that we turn away from God are not innocent distractions. Eventually we become what we worship. Worldly pleasures lead to worldly people. Our possessions do not heal us or protect us. We ultimately become possessed by them.

God spoke through the Prophet Hosea:

O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols?
    It is I who answer and look after you.
I am like an evergreen cypress;
    your faithfulness comes from me.   (Hosea 14:8)

There are other, even more sinister, idols. Satan has saturated our society with false deities, even in some our churches. We must be on alert. The psalmist wrote:

Hear, O my people, and I will admonish you:
O Israel, if you would but listen to me!

There shall be no strange god among you;
you shall not worship a foreign god.   (Psalm 81:8-9)

Very strange gods are coming, even alien gods. Some have arrived. They are fallen angels. The Apostle Paul has told us that we should not let the worship of angels disqualify us from the prize (Colossians 2:18). Supernatural signs and wonders are not always what they seem. Scripture tells us that Satan can transform himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).

We must examine the fruit of these idols. Where are they leading us? Are we moving closer to God or away from him?

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Filed under Jesus, lectionary, Lent, Lenten daily readings, Lenten study, Revised Common Lectionary, Year C

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