Isaiah 6:9-10 (MSG) He said, “Go and tell this people: “’Listen hard, but you aren’t going to get it; look hard, but you won’t catch on.’ Make these people blockheads, with fingers in their ears and blindfolds on their eyes, So they won’t see a thing, won’t hear a word, So they won’t have a clue about what’s going on and, yes, so they won’t turn around and be made whole.”
Idols distort our beliefs and feelings
When an idol takes the place of God in your life, that idol begins to influence how you think and how you feel. Idols lie to us, confuse us, and distort God’s truth. They attack our belief system and attempt to change how we think. Idols work on our minds, and then work on our hearts, and even on our feelings. Idols are powerful and intoxicating forces that end up changing our beliefs and our feelings.
You will become what you worship
In one of the scariest passages in the Bible, God warns us that if we worship idols instead of him, we will become like them.
Psalm 115:4-8 Their idols are merely things of silver and gold,shaped by human hands. They have mouths but cannot speak, and eyes but cannot see. They have ears but cannot hear, and noses but cannot smell. They have hands but cannot feel, and feet but cannot walk, and throats but cannot make a sound. And those who make idols are just like them, as are all who trust in them.
Imagine a wooden idol, like a totem pole.
- They have a mouth painted on them, but they can’t talk like God.
- They might have painted eyes, but they still can’t see the things of God.
- They might have noses, but they cannot smell the beauty of a sweet smelling flower in the morning.
- They might have hands, but they cannot feel the joy of touching the fresh water of a waterfall.
- They might have feet, but they can’t walk on a beautiful beach.
- They have a throat, but they can’t communicate to others.
Sometimes God says, “Go ahead.”
Sadly, sometimes God understands we are going to have to learn the hard way. He doesn’t want that for us, but he knows that because of our own stubbornness and rebellion, there is no other way. So he says, “Go ahead. Do what you want. Just remember the consequences of that decision.”
1 Samuel 28:6 He asked the Lord what he should do, but the Lord refused to answer him, either by dreams or by sacred lots or by the prophets.
King Saul had refused to wait on God and went ahead and sought the counsel of the occult, which ended up costing him so much. We need to be careful that we are not like him.
Idols must be removed and replaced
Idols are such intoxicating and powerful forces in our lives that they must not only be removed, but also replaced. Just removing them is not enough because our hearts will just reproduce another one or replace them with one of another kind.
Ezekiel 14:4,6 Tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: The people of Israel have set up idols in their hearts and fallen into sin, and then they go to a prophet asking for a message. So I, the Lord, will give them the kind of answer their great idolatry deserves….Therefore, tell the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Repent and turn away from your idols, and stop all your detestable sins.
Before it is too late and the damage is too great, cry out to God and ask him to help you remove your idols and replace them with something so much better.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- If an idol is “anything or anyone that takes the place of God,” what are a couple of your idols?
- How do you think idols can distort our beliefs and our feelings? Give examples.
- Read Isaiah 6:9-10. Share what you think God is saying.
- Read Psalm 115:4-8. Explain why it would be dangerous to replace God with idols.
- King Saul refused to wait on God. Give some examples of when you were not sure what God wanted but you decided to go ahead and do something anyway. Share what happened as a result.
- The way to get rid of idols is to turn away from them and turn towards God. How can you do this in your life?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.