I know it may seem like we talk about this often but it’s because the Bible talks about it often, but as Christians we must be careful of idolatry. It’s amazing how Israel went to false gods in the wilderness after everything God did for them. They all saw how God miraculously delivered them from slavery through the plagues, the Passover, the cloud that they had to follow to lead them to a splitting of the sea. On top of all this, He then miraculously provided drink and food for them in the desert. After all this, it says in v. 6 and 7 that they desired evil and turned to false idols instead of the God who saved them and provided for them. In fact, the apostle Paul twice said we must look at Israelites idolatry in the wilderness as an example. A warning to us that it’s just as easy for us to place other things in our life in the place of Jesus. Stuff like family, sports, hobbies, jobs, relationships and patterns of sin that we just can’t seem to give up. And if you’re reading this and saying, “I would never put anything before God and I certainly wouldn’t if God performed those type of miracles in Exodus and delivered me from such slavery,” well, then v. 12-14 are for you.
12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.
Idolatry starts with us not being content, or complaining and grumbling, or trying to test God like it started with the Israelites in the desert. But what may start as temptation, soon turns into sin and that sin will take the place of Jesus on His rightful throne in our lives. And there’s only one option Paul gives when we are confronted with that false idol and functional savior in our life.
It’s not worth it to stick around and allow it to take root and force us to forget about our one, true, faithful God. So let’s learn from the example God gives us with the Israelites and not be tempted to believe that it won’t happen to us. Instead let’s guard our heart and lives in such a way that we’re constantly putting Christ and His ways first to be a different type of example toward others.
- What idols tend to creep up in your life?
- How can you “flee” from those idols and guard your heart in such a way to prevent it from coming back into your life?
By: Erik Koliser