This morning, as nearly always happens when I read the Bible, I had an epiphany, of sorts. I was reading Moses’ farewell address in Deuteronomy and saw how he predicted what would happen to Israel, not once, but twice, because of their idolatry and the hardness of their hearts. It got me thinking: “why did/do people worship idols? Obviously, they’re statues of stone, wood, gold, or ceramic that people make, but then they worship their own creation.” And that’s when it hit me: they worship the work of their own hands because they want to prove to themselves (and to God, perhaps), that they don’t need God, that they can be good and righteous on their own. And it also hit me that idolatry is alive and well, even amongst those of us who don’t worship statues.
You see, we love to worship the work of our own hands. It’s why people elevate their kids to such high levels, and brag on each accomplishment. It’s why we have an endless supply of videos of people dancing, acting stupid, and hurting themselves on the internet. It’s why people must always seek to try and brag on their accomplishments, and boast in their purchases and meals. We are often idol worshippers, even when we do away with the statues, because we can’t get away from showing God (and ourselves) that we can accomplish a whole lot without him. And yet, we’re fooling ourselves, because all of us will return to the dust someday, and our accomplishments that don’t matter, in light of eternity, anyway, will return with us. What foolish idolaters we are! Our hope is not in ourselves or our accomplishments. We’re a speck of dust with limited time on a speck of dust in a Cosmos breathed out by its creator! Our only hope is in Him and His Son who died for our salvation to return us to what He created us to be! Trust in Jesus, and not yourselves, and watch how Jesus transforms your life by the Holy Spirit as you dive in to His word!
1 Timothy 1:3-14
I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.