You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything
in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below...
For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God...
When I was young, there were some guys who tried occasionally to "date" two girls at the same time. Of course, dating in Junior High at that time was pretty innocent. You didn't really date; you just exchanged notes in class (usually through a mutual friend) and held hands on the way home from school. So guys could get away with "dating" two girls at once for a while. But there was a term for these guys. They were called two-timers.
You might get away with two-timing for a while in Junior high, but it certainly doesn't work in a marriage. Marriage is designed to be an exclusive relationship. The same is true in our relationship with God. God desires an exclusive relationship with us. God hates two-timing.
During the Old Testament days, the nation of Israel was often guilty of two-timing. God called it idolatry. God clearly prohibited idolatry in the Ten Commandments. The prophets preached against idolatry. And, God judged Israel for their idolatry.
It's a good thing idolatry isn't a problem in America. Right? Or is it? By definition, an idol is anything to which we devote our highest affection and devotion. With that in mind, let me suggest a few potential American idols.
Many Americans seem to worship a false-god today named, "technology." People devote much of their time and attention to televisions, computers, tablets, video consoles, and smart phones. Other Americans bow down to the idol of entertainment and leisure. Weekends were made for fun, right? Others worship the human body. They regularly worship at local shrines called fitness clubs. And many Americans sacrifice children on the altar of personal rights. We call it abortion.
One particular idol that has come to the forefront during the Covid-19 pandemic is the false god of science. When the governor of New Jersey was asked whether he considered the constitutional rights of Americans - freedom of assembly and freedom of religion - before imposing strict stay-at-home orders in his state, he responded, "that's above my pay-grade." He went on to insist that he was following the advice of the scientists.
Think about some of the phrases we have heard lately. Follow the science. Believe the scientists. Trust the scientific models. But wait. Aren't those words used in the Bible to describe our relationship to the Lord? We are to believe God, trust the Lord, and follow Jesus.
Here's the problem. While science is an important field of study, and while there are many good scientists today; science is still fallible. Scientists make mistakes, and science is sometimes wrong. Here are three examples that demonstrate the fallibility of science.
Evolution - It's a theory that has never been proven. It's full of holes; yet it is taught as scientific truth in schools today, contrary to God's Word.
Climate Change - when I was young, everyone was worried about an impending ice age; now scientists and politicians are concerned about global warming.
Covid-19 - the scientific models continue to change weekly, even daily.
Science is fallible. It is not the final word. We dare not worship it. While science is good; it is not God; nor is science more authoritative than God's Word. Only God is infallible, and God's Word inerrant.
When you stop and think about it, at the root of all our American idols is the false god of "self." We have elevated man above God, and human wisdom above God's Word.
If we want to see divine healing and genuine revival, America must repent of idolatry and turn back to God. What is the object of your highest affection and devotion? Are you guilty of idolatry? Are you two-timing on God? Or are you truly in love with God?