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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Images of Idolatry

And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf. Then they said, "This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!" So when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, "Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD [YHWH]." (Exodus 32:4-5 NKJV)

"Hear, O My people, and I will speak,
O Israel, and I will testify against you;
I am God, your God! ...
You thought that I was altogether like you;
But I will rebuke you."
(Psalms 50:7,21 NKJV)

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts."
(Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV)

Witnesses to the ten plagues and parting of the Red Sea, the Israelites thought they could not be comfortable with YHWH until they put an identifiable face on Him. The strength and vigor of a calf seemed a fitting idol, made with gold intended to enrich them and God's sanctuary.

Even in the 21st Century, and even for witnesses to God's deliverance, it's not difficult to make equally absurd attempts to shape God into an image we believe suits Him and us, whether we shape Him as lenient or legalistic. We then easily conform ourselves to the same image.

Likewise, we too easily take the blessings God has provided, with which we might enrich God's kingdom, and make idols of them. It's not wrong to possess gold—family and freedom, health and wealth—as long as it's used for God's glory and doesn't become an idol itself.

Lord, You are too magnificent to behold, too great to be fully understood in earthy terms. Please give us hearts to continually seek Your face, to better see You as You are, and to wholeheartedly love You in terms as simple as, "I AM."

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Copyright 2008, Anne Lang Bundy

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