Sunday, February 22, 2009

Idol Eyes...

In today's reading from Deuteronomy chapters 3 through 5, Moses confessed having asked the Lord to let him cross into the promised land. Again, God reminded him that because he'd been disobedient, he would not be allowed to go there, but he did allow him to climb a mountain to see it all from a distance.

These passages made me wonder how many times I haven't experienced God's best blessing because I've wandered from the path of complete obedience to his will. My precious children, I pray that you never have to ask yourselves this question and that your hearts will be steadfastly intent on always following him with love and devotion.

Through Moses, God reminded his children that he is a jealous God and that they were never to make images or have idols as objects of their worship. Once already, this has been the subject I've written about while reading through scripture, but in these chapters God instructed Moses to remind the people that he absolutely would not tolerate their worship of any other object or idol.

As I write this, the Academy Awards are on television. I am not tuned in to the show, but in years past I have watched to see which celebrities would be honored with awards. Many of the cable channels have Red Carpet reporters who are there to oogle over the gowns and ahh over the stars and grab interviews with the actors before the big telecast.

Tonight, it occurred to me as I scrolled past one of those shows that this in some ways reflects our misplaced values regarding what is genuinely worthy of reward and admiration. Worse even than that, though, is this question--could there be actual celebrity worship going on here? And if so, what does God think about it?

Oscar winners are not celebrated and admired because of any amazing contribution to the betterment of society if you compare their work to, say, that of a cancer researcher or even a life-saving fire-fighter. Instead, they are adored because of their good looks and ability to successfully role play.

Make no mistake, I love the arts and I totally appreciate exceptional film, but I think we may be dangerously close to idolizing some of the people who play roles in Hollywood, and often times we even ignore the blatantly ungodly story lines and characters that these individuals portray.

Deuteronomy 4 verse 39 speaks of God's reminder to his children then-- and I believe for all time:

“So remember this and keep it firmly in mind: The Lord is God both in heaven and on earth, and there is no other. 40 If you obey all the decrees and commands I am giving you today, all will be well with you and your children. I am giving you these instructions so you will enjoy a long life in the land the Lord your God is giving you for all time.”

Maybe the detour we've taken as a people from remembering his decrees and honoring him in all our ways reveals much about why it is not always well for us and our children.

Father, help me have no affection for the things of this world in comparison to my wholehearted devotion and love for you. You and you alone are worthy of worship. In Jesus' Name.

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