Indeed he makes a god and worships it; He makes it a carved image, and falls down to it.
They left the house of the Lord God of their fathers, and served wooden images and idols.
I will pluck your wooden images from your midst.
Let me begin this devotion by a confession: I am a sports fan. I grew up as the youngest child with two brothers and a dad who loved football, track, golf, tennis and physical acts of splendor: large and small.
If fan is short for fanatic, I fall short of that mark, but I do enjoy seeing amazing athletes do incredible things. God gifted them in their fields. Even so, they worked hard to sharpen their skills; countless hours became years of dedication: sacrifices most of us refuse. One result is their excellent shape: top athletes are chiseled. Their bodies are works of art.
In Bible days, they had athletes, but they also had carved images: wooden gods they worshipped. Because most people didn't know the Invisible God. But here's the bigger problem: many of those who did know Him began to worship carved images, too:
'These nations feared the Lord, yet served their carved images; also their children and their children's children have continued doing as their fathers did, even to this day' (2 Kings 17:41). Why would God's people give their love to carved images? Consider a short answer: peer pressure.
They lived among others who worshipped what they could see, and it's easier to follow suit than leave the game. As for me and my house, it was hard to sit in the stands of a Carolina Clemson game and not get crazy.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: don't worship carved images: neither your own nor anyone else's. 'For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come' (1 Timothy 4:8).
I'm not saying to neglect your body. Because Paul said: 'I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified' (1 Corinthians 9:27). I'm not saying to neglect the Carolina Clemson game, or whatever sports you enjoy.
What I am suggesting is this: not to love them too much, not to love their stars too much, not to love them more than God, not to spend more time with them than with Him. Because if you do, you've elevated them to idols, a.k.a. carved images.
'I am the Lord, that is My Name; And My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to carved images. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare' (Isaiah 42:8-9).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: you are among the new things God has declared. So 'Keep yourself from idols' (1 John 5:21).
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Images series.