(1Chr 16:26 [KJV]) For all the gods of the people [are] idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
Often it has been said that idols do not have to be shaped pieces of wood, plastic, metal or stone placed in a specific place where one bows down to worship it, as we see Hindus and Buddhist do. This idol worship comes in many forms especially in this modern times, it is easy to have an idol and not realize it. Consider the following synonyms for idol: icon, statue, star, hero, god, pin-up, symbol, image, representation, emblem, logo and list could go on. Anything we value and give it more attention than we do with our God (Creator) becomes our idol. “God has given us many things in this life upon which to bestow our affections; but when we carry to excess that which in itself is lawful, we become idolaters.” E. G. White. Let me sight a practical example here: Soccer has become a game that attracts many people today in the world, people spend hours talking, arguing and watching soccer at the expense of their families their jobs, their education etc. watching soccer is not necessarily a bad thing but if I can skip work to watch soccer, if I can miss bible study because of soccer, if I can be late or miss my church appointments because of soccer, if I can spend lots of money in order to watch or gamble on soccer and yet give little or nothing as offering and tithe to support the mission, if I know the soccer stars more than I know what God requires of me, then beyond any doubt I have an idol. (Exod 20:3 [KJV]) Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
People can miss church because they watched a match late into the night, or skip Sabbath afternoon program because there is a match, or spend money to have DSTV just to be able to watch those matches; may buy t-shirts and other items with soccer stars or names and logos of their favorite soccer team, may know all players profiles well yet they cannot quote any biblical text or scripture, or give any testimony of what God is doing in their life. To this person soccer is an idol.
(2Cor 6:16 [KJV]) And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
“But it is not alone in denying the existence of God, or in bowing down to idols of wood and stone, that this first commandment is broken. By many who profess to be followers of Christ, its principles are infringed; but the Lord of heaven does not acknowledge those as his children who are cherishing in their hearts anything that takes the place which God alone should hold.” -E. G. White
Today I heard in the BBC radio talking about an Indian Cricket star- Sachin Tendulka. The radio interview focused on his achievement because he had declared this game to be his last. Many comments were made but the following comment was the punch line for me. Said one man. “If Cricket was a religion then Tendulka is a god.” This shocking statement by one of those interviewee can tell you that, for such a person the entire Cricket thing had gone beyond a mere entertainment.
Can you review your life to see if there is anything ‘idol’ that has crept in slowly to take the place of God! Get rid of it because He is a jealous God, he cannot coexist with other gods. He demands a complete dominion over us, after all He created us.