October 1, 2013

PS 135:15, 18 The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
made by the hands of men.
Those who make them will be like them,
and so will all who trust in them.

You can’t accuse the Bible of not calling a spade a spade! This is far from the only place the Bible gets derogatory about idols and those who worship them. Political correctness seems to be a fairly modern scourge, and it gets in the way of both honesty and clear thinking. The point here, that we become like what we worship, is a valid one in every age and culture. Human beings are created to be aspirational, that is to aspire to be like something. That is why what we choose to admire and seek after is so vitally important. Here the Psalmist is talking about physical idols, but we use that term with sad accuracy in referring to entertainment personalities. People become obsessed with them, and indeed become like them, not in the wealth and influence they crave but in the emptiness and dissolution of their lives. On a religious level, it is very informative to really consider the character of the various gods that are espoused. Hinduism, just like Greek and Roman mythology, simply postulates beings that have more power, but also have all the faults and character flaws of those imagining them. Any objective consideration of the life of Mohamed will give considerable insight into those who commit atrocities in his name. Buddhism, in its pure form, teaches withdrawal from everything material, but has picked up countless variations and interpretations to excuse assorted human desires and impulses. Only Christ is a model that, if followed, would result in incredible peace, joy, and satisfaction for all mankind. We indeed become like what we worship, so we need to consider what, in practical terms, we really are worshiping.

This is a very valid point that I need to get across. Most people, to be honest, never really think about this. They don’t consider what they aspire to, and whether it is worthy of such aspiration. I deal with lots of young people in my college-level classes, and I need to point this issue out to them. Since all of my students aspire to be medical personnel, they should be open to the subject. I need to help them understand that people can be good role models, if chosen wisely, but they are ultimately flawed and limited. The only role model who will never let us down is Jesus Christ. That awareness alone could set many on the road to repentance and faith for salvation!

Father, thank You for this very helpful hint for evangelism. I know that I am admired by many of my students, but because of my “otherness” as a foreigner they don’t see me as a role model. That’s fine, if I can help them see that Jesus transcends all nationalities and occupations as the ultimate role model. Help me help them understand that He is You, expressed in human form (Colossians 2:9) so that we may indeed pattern our lives after You, for our blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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