Then I said to them, ‘Each of you, get rid of the vile images you are so obsessed with. Do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt, for I am the Lord your God.’
Ezekiel 20:7, NLT*
Context: the Israelites were slaves in Egypt. God displayed His power through plagues and miraculous signs. He proved His existence—and His supremacy.
Yet He accuses the people of being obsessed with idols.
The NLT footnote for the word “idol” in this verse says “The Hebrew term (literally round things) probably alludes to dung.” So these idols are not just worthless and powerless, but defiling to an Israelite. They don’t just distract from God, they separate from Him.
We wonder why the Israelites would bother. Yet don’t we do the same?
What might we have brought “out of Egypt” when Jesus saved us? Performance, people pleasing, possessions?
As I take inventory, the worst one I see is an ugly clay idol called self.
It’s not very big or powerful, but I give it a lot more attention than I should. That attention rightly belongs to Him who rescued me—who is still rescuing me.
If it were a physical idol I could smash it, sweep up the pieces and throw it away. But it’s in my mind, like most of the other “round things” we cling to.
God our Redeemer, our Rescuer, how can we still be obsessed with such futile and defiling things when You have brought us out of slavery to sin and into Your kingdom of life? Continue Your saving work in us, and keep us in Your grace. Help us recognize when we look away from You to the idols in our lives. Help us control our thoughts and spirits and turn back to You, the true, life-giving God.
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.