Little is mentioned, in our times, of the commandments given to Moses for God’s people. Even when mention is made of any of them it usually has to do with murder, adultery, or stealing. But I’m thinking the first commandment against idolatry needs to be pondered more thoroughly, at least in my own life because the effects of what I actually worship, beyond what I say I worship, are so wide-reaching as to affect most of what all the commandments deal with.
In my life there are things to which the great homage I give detracts from what You deserve. Too often I worship at the shrines of busy-ness, self-centeredness and finances. Further, I am passionate about my family, my grandchildren, fishing, and music to extents that impinge upon my passion for You.
I am witness to the idolizing of pop-culture figures like movie stars, music stars, and even certain politicians, business people, thinkers, and athletes. Even with those closest to us, whom we love the most, we have a hard time placing under You rather than over You.
We are a people of awareness, which can be both a blessing and a curse; for, in one sense, our awareness is a source of our distractions but, in another sense, our awareness can be the magnet drawing us ever closer to You. The interdictions of pride, jealousy, and envy draw our awareness to idolatry. But if we nurture true humility in our lives, true awareness of who we are and what everything around us really is, we move away from idolatry. The centers, then, of busy-ness, self-centeredness, finances, music and fishing, etc., move away from themselves and can come to rest in another, more proper, place. The right-ordering of all these things enables us to put You at their center thus converting them from distractions to attractions. By placing You at the center of all things, we are far less likely to idolize anything for itself.