Recently, I heard a sermon that changed my view on the Israelites and idols. Pastor Tom Patton shared how most of us read the account in Exodus where the Israelites were waiting for Moses to return from mount Sinai, and while they are waiting, they throw their gold in the fire and started to worship the calf that was formed.
We are left to wonder how on earth they so quickly turn to idols. They had just witnessed some of the most amazing miracles ever. God sovereignly saved them out of Egypt with the 10 plagues and then finished it off with the parting of the Red Sea where they crossed, not just a few of them but millions on dry ground.
All this before the Lord closed the sea and allowed it to wash Pharaoh and his army away. How is it in the next moment they are making a golden calf to worship?
The verse in Exodus chapter 32, verse 4 and 5 “This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt...Tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD. " we see that Israel wasn’t making an idol to a random deity or thing, they made the very God, Yahweh, the “I AM ” who told them He would deliver them, into a created object. They wanted an object that looked like what they thought God should look like. They then began to worship this idol and called it God. They witnessed this amazing deliverance and turned the holy God into a piece of gold.
4000 years later we are no different from the Israelites. people all over claim to be Christians but yet deny the very Christ from the Bible. “Oh, my Jesus would never judge anyone, oh no Jesus would only love people.” People make statements about Christ, yet in the next moment they say they don’t attend a church and don’t read their bible. They make him out to be this sandal wearing, latte drinking, environmentalist, peace loving Santa clause guy who just loves and loves and loves.
When we reduce Christ to something of our own image for whatever the reason may be we are making Christ to be our own idol and we are not actually worshiping the saving Christ. When you look at scripture and there is something you disagree with because it goes against culture or it is something hard, it is you that needs to change, not God. We need to use fear and trembling when we talk about who Jesus was and is. Jesus warns us in the Matthew chapter 7 verse 23, that He is going to tell many to “depart from me I never knew you.” We must be careful to examine scripture and use scripture to tell us who God is.
We can’t base God on a feeling, a best seller, or a song writer. Pastor Tom said, “The God of scripture must never be made into an idol or false image of our own image.” We must look to the word of God to find out the true Jesus. The more we look at the sacred text that he has given us, the more we will find the true Christ and will be drawn to worship Him more for what He has done for his people.
When you think about God is, the part of your own construction or is he the one and only true God revealed through Scripture? Does Jesus fit comfortably into your life as you please or is he the Lord of your life?
Genevieve Wilson is a happily married home-schooling mum of 3, whose passion is to see people come to know Jesus. She is a seminary wife to her amazing husband.