“Do not worship any god except me” (Exodus 20:3)
Since the time of man’s fall, how many gods do you think mankind has made-up, conjured-up, fabricated and fashioned? Hold on to your seats! It is estimated that mankind has produced between eight to twelve thousand gods, idols, and deities. Some have had names such as – Baal, Dagon, Zeus, Athena. Those are just a handful of the gods men and women have chosen to dream up. Today, we have different gods we bow down to. Gods like money, security, fame, work, people and sports to name a few.
So, why does mankind need to worship all these false gods? It’s really a simple reason. God created man to worship. And if man refuses to worship the one true God, he will make up and devise his own gods. Man must worship!
Now, at this point you are probably thinking that I’m going to talk about examining our lives to see if we have anything we are worshiping other than God that we need to remove from our lives. That obviously goes without saying. But I want to talk about something else. That something else is how we handle the gods that are in the lives of the people we love and have contact with on a regular basis. For that, we need to go back in the Old Testament to look at a man named Gideon. Gideon was a righteous man. However, he had a father who worshiped idols. In those days the most popular couple in the Canaanite idol worship were Baal and Asherah. Baal, a junior god, was the sky deity who worshipers thought would bring them good weather and good crops. Asherah, the female partner of Baal, was the fertility goddess who worshipers were sure would give them a fruitful earth and fruitful wombs. The people thought that both these gods would give them the elementary needs they required. Because the Israelites had a wandering idolatrous eye, they often became devotees of Baal and Asherah.
Now that brings us to Gideon’s problem. Gideon’s father had built an altar to Baal in the backyard, along with a sacred pole (which was usually a tree) to worship Asherah. So, God told Gideon to clean house – his house. Well, mainly his backyard. He ordered Gideon to pull down the altar of Baal and cut down the tree dedicated to Asherah. I don’t read in the account of this in Judges 6 where God told Gideon to ask his father’s permission. God simply asked Gideon to be obedient and clean-up the yard his father refused to clean-up. God then told Gideon to build an altar in the backyard for the true worship of God the Creator. Now, the question is – did Gideon do the right thing in going against his father? The answer is yes. Some of you may not agree with that, however the bible clearly tells us we are to obey God rather than man – any man. (Acts 5:29).
Now, I’m not advocating you start an uprising and revolt against your family and people you are close to. My point is this – do what is right, even if it is not popular. Even if your loved ones, friends, co-workers think you’re crazy. Do what you know before God is the right thing to do. Even if you look or sound like you’ve lost your mind. Don’t place an emphasis on what others think. We’re not here to impress other people. We’re here to please our Lord. So, what right thing is God asking you to do?