‘He said, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, because you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and you have followed the Baals.’ – 1 Kings 16:18
“When the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was torn down, and the Asherah which was beside it was cut down, and the second bull was offered on the altar which had been built.” – Judges 6:28
The passage from 1 Kings is from the section of verses that we looked at this past Sunday during our study of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. The people of Israel had turned to other gods and forgotten the True God, the Only God. We looked at the how God showed up and burned the sacrifice on the altar and the people repented and turned back to God.
The second passage is from the message for this coming Sunday as we look at Gideon. However, you can see that the people of Israel during the time of the Judges dealt with the issue in the same way as the people in 1 Kings: they turned to the same false gods. These events are likely hundreds of years apart, yet the same core problem is found within the nation.
We also, even today can fall into the danger of serving false gods. We might not have altars or Asherah poles set up in our homes, but we do face false gods or idols in different ways. There is a very easy definition for what a false god or idol in our lives could be, anything that we put ahead of God is an idol. Viewing something as more important goes against the commandment to have God be number one in our lives.
Work is one that probably comes up most often – what about working so hard that you do not even have any time for God? But what about idols that might be harder to realize? Could family and friends be an idol? In some ways they actually could be if you start putting those ahead of your faith. There was a time when the most important aspect of families coming together was centered on the foundation of faith. Now there are so many things that can pull a family in so many directions, and often the first thing that drops off is church life and the strengthening of faith.
Now, I am not saying all activities are bad, but I am saying that as believers we want to make sure the right thing is at the top of our list, and that is God. If we start at the top with God, then the other things will fall into their rightful places. Reading through the Old Testament helps us realize the danger of not keeping God in the proper place in our lives.