Thursday, June 23, 2011

Worship the GIVER not the GIFT


Leviticus 26:1 "Don't make idols for yourselves; don't set up an image or a sacred pillar for yourselves, and don't place a carved stone in your land that you can bow down to in worship. I am GOD, your God.


Twice as much space is devoted to warning as to blessing in this chapter. The people of the Old Testament were warned over and over against worshiping idols. Adversity, the promised fruit of disobedience, is a tool which God uses, not to inflict revenge but to lead His people to repentance (vv. 40-42). National chastisement would be increasingly severe until the people confessed their iniquity. Notice the progression in verses 14, 18, 21, 24, and 28.
After warnings against idolatry (v. 1), sabbath-breaking, and irreverence (v. 2), the Lord promised the following blessings to the nation if it would keep His commandments: rain, fertility (v. 4), productivity, security (v. 5), peace, safety (v. 6), victory over enemies (vv. 7, 8), fruitfulness, and the presence of the Lord (vv. 9-13).


How does this apply to me? We wonder how they could deceive themselves with these objects of wood and stone. Yet God could well give us the same warning, for we are prone to put idols before him. Idolatry is making anything more important than God, and our lives are full of that temptation. Money, looks, success, reputation, security-these are today's idols.

Idols made by our own hands:

Isaiah 2:8 (AMP) Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, what their own fingers have made.

Too often, God's people have also had a propensity to worship God's blessings.

Judges 8:27 Gideon made the gold (the spoils from the battle with Midian) into a sacred ephod and put it on display in his hometown, Ophrah. All Israel prostituted itself there. Gideon and his family, too, were seduced by it. The Children of Israel were "seduced" by the blessings of God. Even Gideon committed "spiritual prostitution" by giving worship to the things that God blessed him with, instead of giving worship to God.

I need to examine myself to make sure I am not being seduced to worship the blessings of God instead of the God of all blessings. Idolatry has a seductive side to it. It is constantly calling out for your attention and worship. That is why it is so important to daily spend time in praise, worship and thanksgiving to the one and only True God!

As you look at these false gods that seductively promise everything you want but nothing you need, does idolatry seem so far removed from your experience? The cry of my heart is, "Help me Lord!"


"Lord, please forgive me for allowing myself to be seduced by the very things that you have blessed me with. Every where I turn I see your blessing. Too often, I give more attention to the blessing than to the "Blessor." I truly repent of this, and ask you to forgive me. I want to daily recognize your blessings and give you heartfelt thanks! You are such a good God, and full of compassion and mercy. You pour out so much grace into my life, and yet I often forget to stop and say "Thank you, Lord!" Today, I will be more aware of the seduction that blessings can be in my life. I have made up my mind today, to give more praise to the Giver than the gift. I love you Jesus, and thank you for the process of holiness that you are bringing into my life as I daily strive to be the man of God that you want me to be. In Jesus' name, amen!"