Here are some definitions from dictionary.com
An image or other material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed
An image of a deity other than God
The deity itself
Any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion
A mere image or semblance of something, visible but without substance, as a phantom
A figment of the mind; fantasy
Just want to highlight the fact that the definitions of idols hover around the idea that the idol itself represents either a fantasy, something born from the mind, or desire that causes a form of devotion.
Idols have been around human history for a long time and has taken many shapes and forms and the realization is that we all have idols that we inherently put our hope in to fulfill a need to be safe, secure, and fulfilled.
Idols are manifestations of people’s solution to their fears that are apart from God and thus they believe that this thing that they put their hope in will keep them secure but the sad truth is that we create these idols for our security to only become weights that drag us deeper into insecurity.
It says in verse four and five of Jeremiah ten that:
“ They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move. Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good.”
The Israelites created these idols of worship to provide for their needs and bring them security but the way they created them reveals their true function. They were created but they were nailed down so that they cannot move, which shows us that they want security but on their own terms because to nail something down is to keep it under control The Israelites know that security with God is found in a relationship with a living being that requires them to submit to and willingness to let go of control. They want security but they want control and I think that is the biggest motivator of creating idols because to have control over one’s life offers false security yet the realization is that we will never have full control over our lives! The sad reality of idols is that they have to be carried and the reality is that idols offer freedom but only bring burden.
So what is the solution?
“There is none like you, O LORD; you are great, and your name is great in might. Who would not fear you, O King of the nations?”
This is a question that already has an answer… all should fear the LORD! Imagine you are in a room and you see on one end a large German Shepherd growling at you with all of its razor like teeth bared. For most people this will cause a spike in adrenaline as fear creeps in that will have you fighting like mad or running to the nearest exit. Now lets imagine you are in a new room and you see that same dog but on the other end is a full grown lion staring through your soul as it’s showing it’s larger teeth and claws. Where is your attention? The dog? Heck no!!! It’s going to be on the bigger threat because the bigger threat causes a greater fear and we realize that greater fear casts out lesser fears!
There are many reasons why we should fear the Lord but today I want to emphasize that the fear of the Lord in it’s proper place will cast out all other lesser fears! Why should we fear the LORD? Because the fear of the Lord will cast out all the idols of burden that have been birthed from our fears and sustained by our insecurities. I always remind myself that the fear of the Lord will always lead to His grace and His grace is a beautiful thing because it is His grace that re-shifts my view on life when I adopt a view that is not from him nor for him.
Idols are birthed from fear and seek to offer security but only give a burden that you will carry alongside that insecurity. Today let the presence of God be your security and let the fear of the Lord lead shift your focus on Him as you will not find a snarling lion but only His grace that reveals His perfect love and let that perfect love cast out all fear.