How can anyone read the Prophet Jeremiah and not find themselves focusing on idolatry and doing a little soul-searching to see what idols might be lurking in their own lives? Well, as overdone as that may be, that’s what I’ve done here too. From Jeremiah 1:16, we learn that worshiping other gods is not to be taken lightly; God considers it to be wicked and says those who practice idolatry have forsaken Him.
That is a pretty serious indictment, sure hope I’m not guilty of that! But the sad fact is, I often am, and you probably are too. It is sometimes easy to forget about the sin of idolatry. After all, we don’t make little statues to worship or burn a lot of incense in our culture. But that doesn’t mean we Americans don’t have a major idolatry problem.
An idol is anything, any idea, any person, any hope or dream that has become more important to you than the Lord God. What are the excuses you’ve given for missing church? The big game on TV, sleeping in, time with my family, golfing with your buddies -- all these can become idols if left unchecked. Why did we fail to do our Bible study this week? The same excuses, plus the demands of a career, primping the house for company, too many “good” shows on TV this week, I’m on vacation! Whatever it is you’ve been telling yourself is a good excuse is probably not – it is just Satan’s ploy to keep you from growing closer to our Lord Jesus.
And the result? God considers it wicked idolatry and says you have forsaken him to worship other gods. Is that what we meant to say when we ignored God for these other activities and desires? I hope not! Next time you make an excuse, check your motives for wicked idolatry. Where your heart is, there will be your treasure also.
One way I’ve personally chosen to apply this verse is to ask myself what was the first thing on my mind when I woke up this morning? If my thoughts were racing to some pet project I’ve been looking forward to, then I can be pretty sure I’m off worshiping some other god, practicing idolatry. But when I wake and I’m praising the Lord and anxious to dig into his Word to start my day, then I can be assured that my heart is where it should be.
Jeremiah 1:16 “I will pronounce my judgments on my people because of their wickedness in forsaking me, in burning incense to other gods and in worshiping what their hands have made.”
What idols did you have to destroy when you first came to the Lord by faith?
Discuss one of the 10 Commandments as it applies to your life.