We all have little things around us that have our attention. None of them are large enough to need all of our attention at any one time, but we do give them a little of our attention at various times. But, what happens if we decide to combine these little things into a bigger thing…just for ourselves? History has shown how to build an idol in four easy steps.
One of the first things God said to Moses was, “Tell the Israelites this . . . Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.” This is way back in the Old Testament in the book of Exodus 20:23 where we find where Moses climbed Mt. Sinai to be with God.
Moses spent an extended period on the mountain because God was giving him instructions on how the Israelites should live, including specific plans for how the tabernacle should be built, how they were to observe the Sabbath, and more.
Although, for the Hebrew people waiting below, the “good old days” of depending on God, were becoming a distant memory. Where manna and quail once were enough, their appetites grew richer. They were no longer poor, nor did they have to work so hard. They just had to follow what God had asked of them. Simple, right?
They had nothing but time on their hands along with a vast abundance of wealth that had been plundered from Egypt. Free time and wealth are often a deadly combination. With an abundance of both, the Israelites grew restless, and were no longer satisfied with what they had. They wanted more. God had cared for them quite well up to that point. But they thought maybe if they had their own god they could have not just what they needed, but also what they wanted.
“Come, make us gods,” they demanded of Aaron, the right-hand-man of Moses. So he called the Israelites together and told them to remove all their gold jewelry, which he molded into a golden calf—their new god.
All it took was a little time, an abundance of resources, a dash of unrest, and misused skills and they had the necessary ingredients for a deadly cocktail of disobedience. (end book excerpt) Why is this deadly result so common? Because the simple steps are around each of us – 1) time to build, 2) resources to use, 3) personal desire and 4) skills to create. Any one of these steps can become it’s own deadly idol that can distract you from your faith and confuse the perspective of your financial resources.
The command of Exodus 20:23 was directly aimed at the temptations they would face while Moses was on the mountain, “Tell the Israelites this . . . Do not make (skills and time) any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves (personal desire) gods of silver (resources) or gods of gold (resources).”
Alone, they can each become an idol. Together, they can combine oh, so well, to make your own instant god. Steps of truth are always the answer to combat any idol. Step 1-Plan your time for Him, Step 2-budget your financial resources to honor Him, Step 3- look only to Him for peace, and, Step 4- use your gifts for Him. Then whatever you build will always be for Him.