In this world we live in, it is too easy for us to allow ourselves to be distracted, to be swayed, and even worse, to be lost.
Look around you. People are so attached to their smartphones they spend a lot of time on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other digital stuff it affects them tremendously making them addicted to technology. There is also the constant presence of cable TV news that somehow manipulate viewers to become news junkies (people addicted to the news) and the sad thing is that most people addicted to the news do not realize the fact that corporate media turned journalism into a commodity as they conspired with political forces and some advertisers behind the scenes.
And then there is the wide selection of entertainment from TV to mobiles games, the movie theaters, the radio and the like. There are those entertainment figures who become idols to their respective legions of followers. These are the famous actors, the famous singers, the famous fashion models, the famous media personalities and more. Apart from entertainment figures, there are also varied politicians who, because of democracy, developed their own respective legions of followers (voters) and they themselves become idols.
As I mentioned before, I am a geek and I love entertainment. I play video games, I watch movies and read comic books. I also pay attention to some news coverage of political news since it is an undeniable fact that public service affects a lot of people. However, I learned to restrain myself, stop the entertainment addiction, stop being indoctrinated by the news media and focus more on my job and other priorities.
One of the top priorities of mine is keeping faith in God and His Son Jesus and constantly learning lessons from the Holy Bible as well as applying those lessons on my daily living. I learned to avoid worshiping idols, both living and the non-living ones (in the form of man-made art). Trust me. When it comes to faith, I felt very relieved by getting rid of those statues and other man-made figures that were never truly worth worshiping. I also never idolized any living mortals. I also freed myself from the constraint and hindrances of religion. My worship is directed at God and His Son Jesus.
Today I would like to discuss Psalm 115 from the Holy Bible and the lesson will be about the futility of idols and the trustworthiness of God.
Let’s start reading Psalm 115 with my explanations.
Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us,
But to Your name give glory
Because of Your Mercy,
Because of Your truth.
Why should the Gentiles say,
“So where is their God?”
My take: Psalm 115: 1-2 opens with the prioritizing and trusting of God who is the all powerful creator who is not a tyrant but is actually a loving, caring, forgiving and just God who wants His faithful followers to spread His truth to others, to prosper and be happy. As God is in heaven, he cannot be easily seen on Earth by mortals who do not know Him, do not believe in Him and have limited themselves to what they perceive as real while living in the flesh.
But our God is in heaven;
He does whatever He pleases.
Their idols are silver and gold,
The work of men’s hands.
They have mouths, but they do not speak;
Eyes they have, but they do not see;
They have ears, but they do not hear;
Noses they have, but they do not smell;
They have hands, but they do not handle;
Feet they have, but they do not walk;
Nor do they mutter through their throat.
Those who make them are like them;
So is everyone who trusts in them.
My take: Psalm 115: 3-8 clearly describes the idols that humans (who don’t believe in God) invent out of nothing (or out of a very false belief) just so that they have something to worship. While God will always be real to His faithful believers, the idols are simply non-existing even though the people who keep on idolizing them live on with the lie that their idols are real, living and responding to them. There definitely is a contrast between the spiritual God who reigns omnisciently and omnipotently, and the man-made idols who are limited to the space of a carved object. In other words, idolatry is absurd, worthless and a terrible waste.
Can these man-made idols perform miracles like God? No! Can these idols send real messages to the people who worship them? No! Can these idols impact people’s lives? Absolutely not and the fact remains is that the people who worship the idols are living a lie and wasting their lives away. An idol is worthless and its followers become worthless as well.
Oh Israel, trust in the LORD;
He is their help and their shield.
O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD,
He is their help and their shield.
You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD;
He is their help and their shield.
The LORD has been mindful of us;
He will bless us;
He will bless the house of Israel;
He will bless the house of Aaron.
He will bless those who fear the LORD,
Both small and great.
My take: Psalm 115: 9-13 emphasizes the fact that God is real and therefore can always be trusted even though He cannot be seen through mortal eyes. He is in heaven, after all. Even though He is far away from, God has always maintained great awareness of His faithful believers and in return for their faith and purity, they will be blessed.
It is also essential to know that fearing the Lord leads to enlightenment. As such other forms of fear – fear of the unknown, fear caused by unrestrained emotions, fear that the worst will happen, fear of hopelessness, fear caused by interventionism, fear caused by brainwashing, fear caused by being self-centered, fear generated by religion and more – should be disregarded. Faith in the Lord is all what a person needs to have in order live better, to be blessed and to prosper. Having fear of the Lord is part of practicing faith in Him.
The non-believers meanwhile will only struggle and experience hardship. These are the people whose souls need saving. (refer to John 3: 3)
May the LORD give you increase more and more,
You and your children.
May you be blessed by the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s;
But the earth He has given to the children of men.
The dead do not praise the LORD,
Nor any who go down into silence.
Be we will bless the LORD
From this time forth and forevermore.
Praise the LORD!
My take: Psalm 115: 14-18 emphasizes further that God is loving, caring and will keep blessing faithful believers. In return, faithful believers keep living their lives with purity, maintain an unwavering faith and praise the Lord always.
On earth, people were born in the flesh as naturally flawed beings (lost souls) who have to struggle growing up, figuring out life the hard way while dealing with the unpredictable moves of nature and local society. The struggle, however, can end by believing in God, realizing He is real, praising Him and being faithful to Him. This also means that a person must be born again (refer to John 3: 3) in order to be saved and to see God’s kingdom.
People who were born with lost souls, lived life worshiping idols (or completely ignoring them but still failing to realize God’s existence) and later died without being saved truly end up failing to see God’s kingdom. That is a very sad outcome indeed and not enough people realize that.
In this world we live in, countless forms of distractions hound us all the time. Among them are the idols, both living and non-living, that people seem to be captivated with. The sad thing about following idols in the modern world is that the followers (of the idols) tend to forget and/or ignore God and His Son Jesus. These people don’t realize they became lost souls.
Worshiping idols is futile. None of those idols will ever come close to the power, the love and care of the Lord. Here’s a passage from Psalm 86: 8.
Among the gods, there is none like You, O Lord;
Nor are there any works like Your works.
The gods mentioned above refers to the idols and myths that pagans refer to as gods. David is not acquiescing to polytheism (refer to 1 Corinthians 8: 5-6)
And then there are these powerful words from God from Exodus 20: 3.
You shall have no other gods before Me.
And then there is the passage of Deuteronomy 5: 7-10 which is connected to the Ten Commandments.
You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself a carved image – any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;
You shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,
but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
God is the one true god to worship and very clearly idols are not meant to be worshiped. God’s character demands loyalty while idols are worthless. You worship an idol, then you will be lost! Do you really want to waste your life hailing an idol and ignoring God and His Son Jesus? Do you really want to live as a lost and unsaved soul? You may not realize it but you need direction and you need to be born again. You can start reforming yourself to find your path to Lord Jesus by getting rid of those idols (both living and non-living) and focus on Him.
We should all read the Holy Bible and remember that Jesus came to this world and dwelt among people thousands of years ago. He came and spread the good news of salvation and those who believed in Him received the free gift of the Holy Spirit. With the Holy Spirit received, the faithful believer will understand the Word of God as well as the nature of God, then receive a new heart and become a new creation.
This is not about religion at all. Religion itself will frustrate you and prevent you from truly connecting to the Lord. Rather this is about your personal relationship with the Lord. Any person – including you the reader – needs the Holy Spirit, needs to be born again and needs to become a new creation in Jesus.
As such, if you have been idolizing someone or something, you have been living with frustrations and you really want to be reformed deep inside, then immediately you must decide to stop worshiping idols and look up to God and trust in Him! You have the power to decide for yourself and the good news is that it is not too late for you to be saved.
If you seek salvation now, learn that the first step is to receive Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior.
Then pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:
I believe that Jesus is Your Son, and that He died on the cross to pay the penalty of my sins. I believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead and that He is alive! Right now I call on the name of Jesus. Jesus, come into my heart. I receive You as my personal Lord and Savior. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me by the power of Your blood. Thank You for saving me and giving me eternal life! Help me now to follow Your plan for my life. Amen.
Congratulations, reader! You are now a child of God! Praise the Lord and always be faithful to Him! The Holy Spirit is in you.
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