We don’t understand the whole idolatry issue very well. It is a common issue. There is a reason why commandments against idolatry were so common in Scripture. It was clearly a weak point for Israel. They always seemed to have way to much fun worshipping other gods and indulge in worshipful acts towards them. Idolatry was rampant in their culture.
We think we are better today. We love Jesus. We go to church. We attend church events. Maybe we lead a Bible study. We put lots of energy into worshipping God. How then could we struggle with idolatry. Funny thing, Israel was the same way. No seriously, Israel kept worshipping God, they just enjoyed throwing other things into the mix.
Why did Joshua have his famous “choose now whom you will serve” speech? Israel was worshipping God, but they still had these other idols hanging around. Maybe they viewed them as a safety net. Maybe it was born at of superstition. Perhaps it was just rooted around familiarity. They worshipped God though. The worship of God does not negate the risk of idolatry. This statement may be earth shattering for some.
Israel kept having this issue though. Even some of the best kings who would clean up the kingdom would still leave remnants of idolatry. Some of the biggest revivals in Israel still never quite finished the job. Elijah had to call fire to come down from heaven in an effort to tell Israel that they had to stop worshipping other gods alongside the one true God.
We may be worshipping God, but that doesn’t mean we are not committing idolatry. What else are we worshipping with our time and energy? What else are we depending on to get us through in life? What else are we going to for comfort and support?
It’s not just that God wants your worship; He wants to be the only focus of your worship. Anything less is coming up short. That is hard for us to swallow. We don’t like talking about the jealousy of God because in human terms it is often such a negative characteristic to have. Human jealousy is born out of selfishness. It is often petty and it is always undeserving. God is worthy of all of our worship though. He is worthy of our attention.
What other gods do you have in your life to worship alongside God? We can’t use the involved Christian excuse. That does not make us immune. It does not free us form needing to do some soul searching into our own lives. What do you need to have change?