Modern Day Idols

June 7, 2024

Exodus 20:4-5 says, “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them.”


What is an idol? An idol is anything that takes the focus off God and puts it on something else. 


Archaeologists tell us in every culture throughout history there have been idols. Statues, little gods, goddesses – things like this. There is the desire of man, for some reason, to turn objects or people or things into objects of worship.


Does this verse even apply to us today in modern times? Absolutely. Some people park their idols in their garage. Some people dock their idols at Lake Monroe Marina.


When anything is first in my life that is not God, it's an idol… even if it’s a good thing.  


What does it mean to idolize? In this sense it means to


Idolize = to VALUE something more than God


In Bible times there were three primary idols. There was Baal who was the god of sex. There was Mammon who was the god of money. And there was Molech who was the god of violence. We don't have those metal idols today, people just pay billions of dollars today to stream content to watch sex, violence and money. It's the same things.


The shrine in America is the screen that you hang on the wall called the TV. Every night when we turn it on we see our idols on TV. Or the phones in our hands. We don't worship objects as much as we worship images, images of success, images of wealth, images of status, images of sensuality. It's very difficult to raise our kids in an environment where the society is saying, “these are the most important things in life,” and we're trying to say, “no there are other values that are more important.” So we have to teach our kids the disadvantages of idols.


Deut. 4:15-16 “But be very careful!… So do not corrupt yourselves by making an idol in any form.”


He says for your own good don't corrupt yourselves by making an idol. God says for your own good don't idolize anything or anyone. Why?


1. Idols will disappoint me.

They always promise more than they can deliver.  

Jeremiah 10:14 The whole human race is foolish and has no knowledge! The craftsmen are disgraced by the idols they make, for their carefully shaped works are a fraud. These idols have no breath or power.

Have you ever ordered something online and when you got it you were disappointed with what you got?

Anytime we put any person, any thing, any product in the place of God, anytime we expect anyone to solve all our problems or guarantee all our happiness ,we're going to be disappointed. Idols will always disappoint us.

2. Idols will dominate me.

If we don't watch out for it they end up controlling our life.  

1 Cor 12:2 (NIV) You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols.

It says there are two inevitable things that happen when we love something more than God:

1) The thing we love more than God will begin to influence us. The word we use today for idols is the word "addiction." We can be addicted to our work, to sex, to checking our phones, to numerous things besides alcohol or drugs. But eventually it runs our life when we love something more than we love God. People say, "I can give it up at any time." Then why don't we? It will dominate our life and it will distract our life.  

2) We will be led astray. We lose our perspective when something takes the place in our life that ought to be where God is. How many people by the lure of a promotion were led to neglect their family at a crucial time in the kids lives? Or for the promise of fame compromised their integrity? Or for the profit motive they threw their convictions out the door? God says if we don't watch out, an idol, anything that we love more than God, will distract us and we will lose our values. It will dominate our life.  

3. Idols will deform me.

They will change us. They'll warp us. We will lose our uniqueness that God gave us because we become like what we value most. 


Psalm 115:8 (NIV) Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.

We will become like whatever is first place in our life. So we better reserve that spot for God or we're going to get deformed from being what God meant for us to be in the first place.

One time a rich young ruler came to Jesus. He said, "What must I do to follow Christ? What must I do to have eternal life?" Jesus says to this yuppie, "Go, sell everything you've got and give it to the poor and come follow me." It's interesting that not one other time in the Bible did Jesus say that to anybody. He only said it to him. Why? Because Jesus knew the idol in his life was his bank account. He went straight to the heart of the issue and said, “You've got another god in your life and if you really want to follow Me, give up what you've got and come, follow Me. Be willing to let go of anything for Me to be first in your life.” It says that the rich young ruler counted the cost, decided it wasn't worth it and walked away sadly.

What do you need to give up? What is it that you're holding on to that's keeping you from being all God wants you to be?   

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