You shall not make for yourself an idol… (Deuteronomy 5:8)
This is the second ‘command’ of the ten commandments… and it basically means the same thing as the first: don’t let your life be ruled by anything other than God.
There are a lot of ‘idols’ out there. When most of us think of ‘idols’ we think of little statues of gold like the ones Indiana Jones finds in the movies. Traditionally, ‘idols’ were just that… gold (or other material, wood, silver, etc.)statues that represented gods of one kind or another. People would put these in the important places of their homes (and lives) and worship them as if by doing so… they could get the god represented by the idol to do what they wanted.
These days… we don’t have little gold statues. Instead, we have all sorts of things that we hold in high regard, all sorts of things by which we try to define our lives and get what we want. Money, fame, sex, success, beauty, and power are the idols of our day… and to a certain extent, we are all influenced by them.
I am amazed at how ‘celebrity’ and ‘fame’ and ‘success’ has become an idol for most of us. Reality tv, activist actors, and the ‘world of show-biz and advertising’ (yes… I put the two together) have really led us out of normal orbit. And, I include myself in this, here’s an example:
I have been very interested in the Dos Equis commercials featuring, “The World’s Most Interesting Man”. How ’bout you? Anyway, this guy is handsome, sophisticated, successful, and gives off a really powerful vibe. Further, the commercials keep featuring exotic scenes in which ‘the man’ is found cliff diving, jungle hunting, and having beautiful women hanging all over him. People have asked all kinds of questions about who this guy is… and there is even a website devoted to him. So, who is he?
An actor… Jonathan Goldsmith.
Now, he’s a great guy and good actor… but he is NOT the guy Dos Equis commercial ‘idolizes’. He acts. He doesn’t circle the world like 007. He isn’t all that. He acts.
All ‘idols’ are like that. They may be beautiful, expensive… even priceless. They may be able to ‘win friends and influence people’… but in the end they just ‘act’ like the real thing.
The real thing is God.