September 2, 2018
READ: Psalm 115:1-18
Those who make idols are just like them, as are all who trust in them (v.8).
The idolatry of ancient Israel’s neighbours led the psalmist to write, “Their idols are merely things of silver and gold, shaped by human hands. They have mouths but cannot speak, and eyes but cannot see” (Psalm 115:4-5). In essence, he was asking, “Why would a person feel the need to worship and bring a sacrifice to an idol? Who would devote their lives to a god they know is false—somehow hoping it would bless them?”
I would, because I do. My laptop and smartphone chime their call to ‘worship’, and I double-click into their glittering space. I’m instantly immersed in rows of icons that promise delights, if only I will give them my attention. My devices ask nothing from me. They invite me to passively consume their fleeting pleasures. My devices ask nothing, but they take everything. These tiny gods consume my attention. Minutes turn into hours turn into, Where did my day go? What happened to my life? I spent it online.
God warns, “Those who make idols are just like them, as are all who trust in them” (v.8). Old Testament idolaters became as weak and powerless as their blind, deaf and mute idols. What about us? Our technological gods can turn us into passive consumers—lethargic and shallow voyeurs easily distracted by clickbait. Our devices can also take away our taste for transcendence. Unable to feel awe, we waste our lives yearning for the next virtual thrill.
The psalmist urges, “All you who fear the Lord, trust the Lord! He is your helper and your shield” (v.11). Let’s consider turning off our phones for a while and calling out to Jesus. As He draws us to worship, we’ll also experience His transforming work as He makes us more like Himself. To that I say, “Praise the Lord!” (v.18).
365-day plan: Matthew 21:28-46
Read Isaiah 44:6-23 and consider why idolatry is foolish.
How can you avoid allowing technology to become an idol? How might you use it to serve Jesus?