Have you ever gone through a stretch of time where the same topic keeps popping up at you all over the place? When that happens to me, I begin to wonder if maybe God is trying to tell me something. Right now God is pleading with me to let him destroy some idols in my life. Well one in particular.
I spend way too much time online and watching TV. Way too much time. There are shows I have to watch and blogs I have to read before I can focus on anything else. I am beginning to realize this is a fully fledged idol in my life. I am being sucked in and drained of all the goodness God tries to fill me up with.
We have been focusing on idolatry the last couple weeks at youth group. Then in my Hebrew class we translated Exodus 32, where the Israelites worship a golden calf, and the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy 5. I am beginning to see a theme.
Last week at youth group, we learned about King Josiah. He became king of Judah when he was eight. After ruling for eighteen years, King Josiah sent the secretary to have the temple repaired. During this undertaking, the Book of the Law was found in the temple of the Lord. The temple was the center of the Israelite’s worship. It was the place where God dwelt on the earth. The fact that it had fallen into disrepair shows how far the nation had turned from God. The nation of Judah had succumbed to idol worship and had forgotten the Book of the Law – the way God had instructed them to live. When Josiah heard what was written in the book, he immediately went about setting things right by sending his advisors to inquire of God through a prophet. He then read the Book of the Covenant to the people and renewed their covenant with God before setting about destroying all the idols in Judah. The temple itself contained items made to worship other gods. These were burned. Alters were destroyed, high places were desecrated so no one could use them to worship false gods. Josiah wiped out all signs of false gods in Judah. And then he led his people in celebrating Passover. 2 Kings 23:22 says “Neither in the days of the judges who led Israel nor in the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah had any such Passover been observed.”
In youth group we focused on King Josiah’s destruction of the idols. But rereading this story just now, I realized that is only half the battle. My idols have been coming back to life because I am not doing everything Josiah did. He didn’t just get rid of the bad, he brought in the good. When Josiah discovered the Book of the Law, he went to find out what God had to say about the words written in it and he read the covenant. Josiah added God’s word into his life before he set about destroying the idols. Then at the end, he celebrated Passover. Passover was designed to remind the Israelites of how God set them free when they were slaves in Egypt. Josiah began by seeking God’s instruction and ended by praising God.
Unlike Josiah, I have been leaving God out of the fight to destroy my idols. That means I am in a never ending war. Only God can end this thing. Only God can destroy my idols once and for all. So now I will stop and seek God’s voice. And I will praise him because I know he will set me free.