Bible in a Year – Day 116: That Pole Looks Like A…
The story of these three chapters (and, indeed, most of the history of human beings) can be summed up in these two sentences:
Even while these people were worshiping the Lord, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their ancestors did. (2 Kings 17:41)
You see, sometimes while reading the Bible, it’s easy to gloss over sentences like “the high places were not removed” or “they set up Asherah poles” because those phrases and objects have no significance to us today. We don’t even understand what is being referenced. Most of us just assume that these things aren’t important.
But what if I told you that a former President of the United States (pick one, either party) had done the following:
1. Performed occultic worship rituals, including animal sacrifices, on the White House lawn.
2. Invited prostitutes to those rituals and included their “duties” as part of the worship experience
3. Set up a large monument that was carved with images of naked men and women in all kinds of “interesting” poses – with the monument itself being crafted to resemble a certain male organ.
4. Forced his daughters to walk across hot coals near this monument.
5. Killed and burned children to offer as sacrifices to the “god of the earth.”
I’m guessing you wouldn’t have a very high opinion of that guy. Now, what if I said, “And the next president was a good man, but he didn’t do away with the phallic pole or sex-ritual sacrifice site.” If you can possibly imagine that scenario playing out, then you have a little bit of a glimpse into what the writer of 2 Kings is trying to tell us.
But I think the subtext of this story tells us something about the core nature of people. In the end, we just tend to do what we’ve always done. We accept whatever we’ve been exposed to. We grow accustomed to the stench of our own filth. Things which were unthinkable to our great grandparents became “daring” to our grandparents, “cool” to our parents and normal to us.
The life priorities, values and idols of our ancestors have permeated our culture to the point that we don’t even notice them any more. And in the end, just like the people of ancient Israel, we continue to serve these idols while worshiping the Lord. My question to you (and me) is this: What idols are you serving while also worshiping God?
Is it money? The American dream? Even your country itself can become an idol. Is it your political party? Your pet cause? Whatever it is, no matter how good or noble, ask yourself (and, more importantly, ask God) if this thing that you are so passionate about has caused God to have to take a back seat in your life. Are you choosing between God and this thing or are you giving him control of it. When we willingly lay down that which we think is part of our core, God reminds us that he is sufficient and sometimes, he even picks that noble cause back up and allows us to plug back into it – plug in, that is, with a clear understanding of its proper place in our life.
- Bible in a Year – Day 329: Slaves of Righteousness
- Bible in a Year – Day 271: Sticky Sin
- Bible in a Year – Day 235: A Messy Situation
- Bible in a Year – Day 218: Building Gods
- Bible in a Year – Day 139: A Utopian Ideal
- Bible in a Year – Day 115: A Better Angle
- Bible in a Year – Day 108: A Method to the Madness
- Bible in a Year – Day 97: Idle Hands
- Bible in a Year – Day 54: Lay It Down
- Bible in a Year – Day 24: The Ten