One of our children attended school in Colorado and every time we visited. crisp, clean, fresh air greeted us as soon as we stepped off the plane. The air was noticeably fresh and clean.
I had that same sensation of freshness and cleanliness when I began reading the account of Hezekiah. Like David, he was full on for the Lord. The chronicler of Israel’s history describes Hezekiah this way:
He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father David had done. He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.) Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him. He held fast to the LORD and did not stop following him; he kept the commands the LORD had given Moses (3-6).
Hezekiah was faithful down to the smallest details. He removed the high places and vestiges of foreign gods. He even destroyed a relic of Exodus days –Moses’ bronze snake –that had become an idol for the people.
This last part of the story sent my thoughts spinning… it is so easy to take something that was useful and good and begin to revere it in a way that actually turns it into an idol. I believe certain branches of the church do this with iconography, relics of Jesus days and saints, and possibly even the beatification of saints themselves. Something or someone used of God is venerated so deeply that the veneration crosses the line to become idolatry. Now before I wag too many fingers at others, it is important for me to search my own life and traditions to see if I might be doing the same thing in different ways…
Are their ‘traditions,’ personal or church-wise, that become so deeply engrained that they become idolatrous.
· Could it be that some Christmas traditions have grown to this level? [Dare I even think this???]
· Could a church location or piece of property. or something along those lines, ever grow to this level?
The concern I am wrestling with is this, are my eyes only on Jesus, the Father and Spirit, or do I place other things –any other things –at the level of worship?
How about you? Are you doing this anywhere in your life?
Think on this…
Oh, Lord, anything that becomes a God-substitute is a BAD thing. Open my eyes to anything like that in my life I pray. In Jesus’ name. Amen.