(November 22, 2014)
When the psalmist spoke of idols that cannot see, hear, or speak, he was speaking truthfully. But we expect things out of our idols that they cannot provide, either. The best definition of idolatry is one of relationship and priority – that which we place as a higher priority than the Lord is an idol to us. We place these things in higher priority because we believe that these things can better meet our needs and wants than can the Lord (otherwise we wouldn’t place them above Him).
We want security, so we place work above the Lord – making work our idol. But even the virtue of hard work cannot generate the security that we need and want – only the Lord can truly make us secure. We want joy, so we place entertainment above the Lord – making entertainment our idol. But this entertainment merely masks our unhappiness rather than correcting it, so the wound in our happiness becomes infected and eventually no amount of entertainment is capable of masking the pain. And so forth.
No matter what we want or need in this life, if we place it above the Lord we will end up without the very thing that we found so important. On the other hand, if we place the Lord above our wants or needs, we will find that He has met those wants and needs in a manner far greater than we could possibly have done on our own.