Are you an idolater? I already lost you, didn’t I? Most wouldn’t raise their hand to affirm their idolatry.
Idolatry doesn’t preach well to us 21st century Westerners. A couple of years ago, I had someone leave the church after I preached on idolatry. “You preached for most of your sermon on the Old Testament, the law against Idolatry, and how might we be guilty of idolatry today,” she reflected. She said that the sermon didn’t connect with her and didn’t offer “spiritual encouragement.”
Oh, friends, the dangers we face when we think that biblical passages on idolatry don’t apply to us! When God calls us, God calls us to leave our idols to follow him.
There is no room in our hearts for idolatry and following the one true God. That is such a significant theme that it has been said that “The central… principle of the [Old Testament is] the rejection of idolatry.”[i]
And yet idolatry seems as though it doesn’t apply to us today. Any of you have a golden calf in your home? Any of you start your mornings off at the local altar?
But idolatry is no mere ancient practice. It is the default function of the human heart.