Here in the United States, we are smack-down, right in the middle of a political season. Each politician has some sort of campaign theme that says, “vote for me because I will make your life better”. And like a jilted spouse that gets lied to over and over again by a serial adulter, we, Americans have our hopes dashed–empty promises.
Back in the days of the Old Testament, they too, fell under this curse of empty promises. In their case, it wasn’t politicians that they put their hope, but in false gods.
They desperately and foolishly looked to their imaginations to create something they could call “god”, so they could satisfy their awareness that there was something greater than themselves out in the world (a true instinct). However, by creating their own god on their own terms, they could also justify living in any way they chose. Their morality would dictate their theology.
In Exodus 32, Moses (who was used by Almighty God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt was called by God to meet Him on a mountain so that He could receive the 10 commandments and better understand the expectations for the kind of life that would be pleasing to this holy God).
However, as Moses was absent for some time from the people, they turned to Aaron, the tentative man in charge, and said to him, “you make us a god”. So, the people their gold to Aaron and he fashioned a golden calf and then said to this people, “this is your God”!
In a similar way, later on in the Old Testament, God rebuked those who would cut down a tree (Isaiah 44:12-20), and use some of it for a wood in a fire, and then with the other part, put a face on it and then bow down to it and say, “you are my god”.
God says to these people, “How can anyone be stupid enough to trust something that can be burned to ashes? No one can save themselves like that. Don’t they realize that the idols they hold in their hands are not really gods? (Is.44:20 – NLT)
So, where am I going with all this? It’s this: there is a saying that says, “those who don’t learn from the lessons of history, are bound to repeat them”.
Although, we, as a people, are so sophisticated today and so much smarter than our ancestors (or so we think), when it comes to trying to fill a void in the depths of our soul that longs to worship something greater than us, yet at the same time keep our independence from any authority, we fall into the same foolish landmines as our ancestors, when we seek to create our own gods.
Because we are so smart, we don’t carve images in trees and bow down to them. “No”, we would never do that. Instead, we come up with some system of rules and forms of worship that adequately masquerade as “true religion” (though are, in fact, powerless).
Or, someone else may look to money, or career, or pleasure, etc. to be their source of pride, or security, or meaning. But once again, these “gods” are not God. They are temporary idols in our mind.
Lastly, there are others who go the “create a god” route. They pick and choose characteristics of a god they would like to call god, who they imagine would make for a god who can approve their way of living.
God sees all these foolish attempts by humans to try to worship something other than the one, true God. Just like in the Old Testament, in the New Testament (2 Timothy, 3:5), God calls out those who hold to a form of godliness, but deny its power.
Friends, I’m not sure who will be reading this post today that needs to hear this, but why would you want to keep on putting in so much effort creating your own god who will be utterly useless to you in your life when you need Him most. A god that you create in your own imagination remains there and can not help guide you, or empower you, or bring you hope, or bring you peace, or bring you forgiveness, or give meaning to your life, or who can give others lasting help.
Logically there can not be many true gods if they are all saying different things. If this form of religion says “it is the only way”, and another form of religion says they are the only way-both can not be true.
So, if I’m going to bet the farm in believing there is only one true God–only one holy God that I need to submit to and follow His ways. I want to follow a God that has revealed Himself to me, not one I create in my own imagination. I want a God who is Holy. I want a God who demonstrates an understanding of my life and can save me from my selfish ways and provide power to me to live a righteous life. I want to believe in a God that is alive. I want to believe in a God who desires to have a relationship with me. I want a God who is at top of the food chain in power and authority and even life itself (who is more powerful than even death).
I guess that message is really what Easter is all about. Dig deeper for yourself, in to the Easter message and by doing so, you will meet the Living God who is, and not one you’ve created!