Thursday, December 23, 2010

What's the name of your god?

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Micah 4:1-5:1

TO CHEW ON: "For all people walk each in the name of his god, but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever." Micah 4:5

Micah's thoughtful little statement in our focus verse is as true now as it was in 700 B.C. In our culture we don't worship idol statues, but we do each have a god and we demonstrate who it is  by our lives (or as Micah says it, "we will walk each in the name of his god").

Wealth, power, attention (how many followers we have on Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, etc.), praise, a gorgeous home, a well-toned body, career, recreation — all these and more can be gods (one of the definitions of god: any person or thing made the chief object of one's love, interest or aspiration").

A little overview of some Bible references to false gods helps us understand them, and the process and folly of worshiping them.

1. They are impotent (Jeremiah 10:5) and inferior to the God who can create (1 Chronicles 16:26).  Though they may appear attractive and powerful, someday their fate will be that of the Philistine god Dagon in the presence of the ark  — broken and in pieces on the floor (1 Samuel 5:4).

2. The work of one's own hands can be a false god (Isaiah 2:8). Though Isaiah was referring to worshiping idol statues that people had carved, we readily, and I think correctly, identify such worship with putting supreme value on ourselves and our own achievements (Secular Humanism), a prevalent value in our society today.

3. False worship may draw us into some strange activities (Ezekiel 21:21).

4. Who/what we worship is a choice we make. We make that choice by who or what we serve. We can't have two masters at once (Matthew 6:24). We choose to worship something or someone other than God when we ignore His commands (1 Kings 18:18). It is also possible to turn from God, back to the things we served before (Galatians 4:8-10).

5. Refusing to bow down to the gods of our culture may make us stand out and could even prove dangerous (Daniel 3:12-18).

6. But we can decide for God. Let's affirm, with Paul, "yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live." (1 Corinthians 8:6).

Or, as Micah says it:

"We will walk in the name of the Lord our God."

PRAYER: Dear God, in this most busy season, when my mind is so easily taken up with all that needs to be done, help me not to make a false god out of anything, even the Christmas celebration.  Amen.

MORE: "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus" - Chris Tomlin version

...Born to reign in us forever,
Now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit,
Rule in all our hearts alone..."

Bible Drive-Thru

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