Can Something Good Be An Idol?

We as humans invest ourselves in a variety of things. We invest time and energy into our work. We invest time and energy into our hobbies, music and sports. We invest time and energy into our friends, family and loves ones, even our pets. I myself devote a good amount of time to my 2 dogs because I call them my babies. If we are not doing these things and have no motivation to do so then I would argue you are sick. For it is normal and healthy for humans to be active, engaged, and working towards something.

In the Old Testament after Moses lead the Israelites out of slavery he left them to meet with God on mount Sinai. This is the placed he received the 10 commandments from God. The first commandment being…

“You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3

While Moses was receiving this commandment the Israelites melted down precious metal to form a golden calf in which they started worshiping. They exchanged the God of the universe who had performed miracles to free them from slavery for a gold calf.

This is the sin of humanity. To forget about God and start worshiping something else. It is not challenging. Even something we consider “good” like a career can become bad if we exchange our God and worship of God for that career or hobby or something else.

What is the cure? In the New Testament people asked Jesus what was the greatest commandment his response was this…

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and the greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Matthew 22:37-39

For when we are truly loving the lord our God with all we have we will have no space for idol worship. There was nothing wrong with the metal that made that gold cafe. There was nothing really wrong with the gold calf itself. What was wrong was the heart of the people that loved, worship and devoted themselves to this gold calf over God.

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