Behold, they are all a delusion; their works are nothing;
their metal images are empty wind.
– Isaiah 41:29
We are all worshipers of idols. People often think of this to mean stone or marble. However, an idol can be many things. In fact, an idol can be almost anything…money, success, a spouse, popularity, material possessions, even ourselves. We were created to worship God, yet we end up worshiping things of this world.
I have recently been reading a book entitled Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller. He describes an idol this way: “It is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.” He talks about how the human heart is an idol factory. In other words, God created all human beings to worship something. We all feel that ache for significance; to know our lives matter. In the pursuit of finding those things we turn almost anything into an idol that will meet those needs for a time and fill us up with momentary contentment.
One will pursue money to satisfy their desire for significance. Another may pursue power or success to make them feel significant. But all of these things are temporary.
Jeremiah 2:13 describes idolatry as a broken cistern or hole in the ground: For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. Instead of drinking from the fountain of living water – a water that will always fill and never run dry – they instead make their own fountains and have fooled themselves into thinking that their human creation will measure up to God’s everlasting flow of life.
Imagine these two fountains: one continuously flowing, clean and fresh, the other cracked and broken with only a shallow puddle in the bottom. Which would you choose to drink from? It seems so silly. It seems so simple. Any yet daily we choose the latter, temporary and flawed cisterns that we have deluded ourselves into thinking will quench our eternal thirst.
The truth is that any object that is being worshiped that is not God will eventually leave the worshiper brokenhearted. And just like the flashy car commercials or a ‘get rich quick’ schemes, the dream of class and the hope of wealth end up being nothing more than an empty promise. The idols in our lives don’t deliver. Nothing can fill us up and make us feel whole like a relationship with our Heavenly Father. We were created to worship Him alone. No other idol will satisfy.
So what are the idols in your life and will you tear them down and turn to the living God…who alone can meet the deepest needs of your soul? The choice is yours.