Walk in Wisdom – Worldliness Part – 8 “A god, by any other name…”


Walk in Wisdom – Gleanings from Scripture
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From: Psalm 106 – Worldliness Part 8

Worldliness is a multifaceted thing. It is not a mere act or even a set of actions.
It is wrapped up in the inner attitudes of the heart and mind. We’ve seen so far,
it covers a lot of territory. Our 7th indication of worldliness is no less surprising
than some of the others we’ve already investigated. It is outlined for us in
verses 19 & 20. And while on the surface many of us would immediately imagine
ourselves free from it – in fact – our susceptibility is profound. “They made a calf
in Horeb” says 19, “and worshiped a metal image.” “20 They exchanged the
glory of God for the image of an ox that eats grass.” But we’re not idol makers
like that! Or are we? In reality, the Israelites were only doing what many of us
want to do a lot of the time. In the absence of Moses’ presence, in the shadow of
Sinai with its frightening clouds, thunders and voices, they did exactly what we
try to do in all sorts of ways: They did their best to make God, their God, more
tangible, and – governable. Ever tried to do that? Ever tried to use prayer to
twist God’s arm? Ever make deals with Him? Ever promised to quit certain
“small” sins or agree to extra Bible reading, church going, prayer time or good
works in exchange for some desired outcome? That’s idolatry. It is every bit as
much idolatry as fashioning a golden calf. You see, the incident as it is recorded
in Exodus 32 is very telling. Once the calf was made, they named it. Do you
know what they named it? Verses 4 & 5 tell us they said “these are your gods O
Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” 5 When Aaron saw this, he
built an altar before it. And Aaron made proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall
be a feast to the LORD.” LORD in verse 5 is Jehovah! They didn’t change Gods.
They just wanted to make the God who had brought them up out of Egypt a bit
more tangible. A god they could carry about at will. A god they could touch and
see. A god who was not transcendent and unmanageable. A god they could
feel less intimidated by. Worldliness always seeks to reduce God to a more
comfortable image. Physically, or otherwise. To defang Him. To make Him finite
and fully comprehendable. A god of our own making on some level. No god at
all.

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