For they said to me, ‘Make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ So I said to them, ‘Let any who have gold take it off.’ So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.” Exodus 32:23-24
Exodus 32 is a great study in fallen human nature. Moses disappears for 40 days and Israel wants Aaron to make them a god to worship. Aaron obliges. But when Moses returns, Aaron tries to shift the blame and tells Moses, “They gave me gold. I threw it in the fire and then out jumped this calf!” Exodus 32 reminds me of Genesis 3. Exodus 32 reminds me of how easily we can manufacture idols in our own hearts. That’s why I want to share with you some sobering words from Tim Keller’s book, Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Sex, Money, and Power, and the Only Hope That Matters-
What is an idol? It is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.
A counterfeit god [idol] is anything so central and essential to your life that, should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living. An idol is whatever you look at and say, in your heart of hearts, “If I have that, then I’ll feel my life has meaning, then I ‘ll know I have value, then I’ll feel significant and secure.” There are many ways to describe that kind of relationship to something, but perhaps the best one is worship.
An idol has such a controlling position in your heart that you can spend most of your passion and energy, your emotional and financial resources, on it without a second thought.
The true god of your heart is what your thoughts effortlessly go to when there is nothing else demanding your attention. What do you enjoy daydreaming about? What occupies your mind when you have nothing else to think about?
May Jesus so captivate our hearts that we daydream about Him!