You shall have no other gods before me.
Exodus 20:3 – Scripture of the Weekend (March 1-2, 2014)
But do we anyway? Do we have other gods before Yahweh?
“No, of course not!” says the church-goer. “I am a Christian, aren’t I? I go to church! I pray to God, not Buddha! I have a Bible, not a Koran!”
Yes, you do. And all of that is important and not to be overlooked.
Did you know that the Bible calls coveting idolatry? (Col. 3:5) What do you covet? Probably not Buddha, right? Probably something materialistic, like money or possessions. Perhaps power. Perhaps someone, like a good-looking woman or man. Perhaps something recreational, like golf time or TV time. Perhaps work. Perhaps a hobby, like cooking, fishing, or gardening. Perhaps reading for pleasure. Perhaps good grades.
Most if not all of the above are not sinful, in and of themselves. We all need down time, fun time, hobbies. It’s not sinful to spend a few hundred bucks on a large TV, in and of itself. Don’t get me wrong.
But here’s the thing. Whatever it is that you like, do you put it before God? Now, before you are so quick to deny, consider this:
- After paying the bills for NECESSITIES (food, mortgage, clothes, electricity, taxes, etc.), into what do you put more money? The church’s collection plate on Sundays? The mission work overseas? The charity that feeds and clothes the homeless? Or a new set of golf clubs? A luxury car? More and more toys for the kiddos?
- Into which do you put more of your time? Prayer? Reading God’s Word? Sharing the gospel with the lost? Helping the needy? Church work? Or TV? The latest John Grisham novel? Overtime at work so you can afford more goodies? Your golf swing? Cooking?
Know that I’m preaching to myself as well as to you. I think we all, when we honestly examine ourselves (2 Cor. 13:5), could say that we, at times, put others gods before Jehovah God. Let’s try to do better, with his help and grace.