It was Sunday morning and Randy Smith was standing behind the pulpit delivering a message on the second of the ten commandments. Everything seemed to be going well but for some reason, he kept hearing what sounded like drill and saw noises coming from behind the curtain which was separating the sanctuary from the baptismal area.
As Randy continued the noise kept coming and than came the pounding, not a quiet tap tap but a load bang, bang, bang. “What in the world.” Randy exclaimed in the middle of his message. Soon all eyes were staring at the curtain. “There is only one kid who would interrupt a sermon with noise like that.” Randy said as he headed toward the curtain.
“HAROLD!” Randy yelled out and as he did there came an even louder noise from behind the curtain. Suddenly Harold popped out from behind the curtain and causally said “Hi,” as if he was doing nothing wrong. And then, Harold asked, “Do you have any nails I can use?” “NO!” Randy answered a little upset. “How about some screws or some glue” Harold asked “No! NO!” Randy replied “Now what are you doing back there?”
“Who, me?” Harold said looking around the room. “Yes, you.” Randy answered, “What are you doing back there?” “I'm just making a statue of me.” Harold answered as if he was doing nothing wrong. “And why may I ask,” Randy said, “Are you making a statue and why are you doing it during the sermon and why are you doing it the church building? You are interrupting an important message on the second commandment, which you SHOULD be listening to!”
“Because I’m a king.” Harold answered, “If Stella is a queen then I am a king and I want a statue of me.” “A statue of you?” Randy questioned. “Yeah,” Harold answered, “I'm going to put it in the park and when I play my drums, everybody will have to bow down before it and say Harold is better then Stella.” When the congregation heard that, everyone burst out laughing for they knew Harold couldn't be better than anybody.
“Harold!” Randy said , half laughing himself. “King Neb ah, ah, ah chooooooo did it.” Harold replied with a sneeze from all the dust he was creating. “You mean he tried to do it.” Randy tried to tell Harold. “But God showed him who was the real boss.” “Well, my statute will be better.” Harold claimed, “It will be electric.”
“Electric!?” Randy exclaimed, “Harold, You’re not safe with electricity.” “Yes I am.” Harold responded and then there was a loud snap and smoke started rolling out from under the curtain. “Harold!” Randy shouted, “What are you burning back there?” “Quickly Harold disappeared behind the curtain and then everyone heard him scream “My Statue! It’s on fire Aaaaaaaaaaaaaa.” The next thing everyone knew the fire alarm sounded, the sprinkler system came on and the fire department came with sirens blaring. As everyone rushed to get out of the building, Harold slipped out the back door.
Do you ever build statues? Idols? Exactly three months after the Israelites had left Egypt, they reached the Desert of Sinai. - Exodus 19:1 (NCV) It was here that the people of Israel heard God speak to them the ten commandments. It was here the people became frightened of God and asked Moses to be God's spokesman. When the people heard the thunder and the trumpet, and when they saw the lightning and the smoke rising from the mountain, they shook with fear and stood far away from the mountain. Then they said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak to us, or we will die.“ Then Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid, because God has come to test you. He wants you to respect him so you will not sin.“ The people stood far away from the mountain while Moses went near the dark cloud where God was. - Exodus 20:18-21 (NCV) It was here that the people of Israel also forgot.
The people saw that a long time had passed and Moses had not come down from the mountain. So they gathered around Aaron and said, “Moses led us out of Egypt, but we don’t know what has happened to him. Make us gods who will lead us.“ Aaron said to the people, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, sons, and daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.“ So all the people took their gold earrings and brought them to Aaron. He took the gold from the people and formed it with a tool and made a statue of a calf. Then the people said, “Israel, these are your gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!“ When Aaron saw all this, he built an altar before the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a special feast to honor the LORD.“ The people got up early the next morning and offered whole burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. They sat down to eat and drink, and then they got up and sinned sexually. - Exodus 32:1-6 (NCV)
They would had claimed they would serve God, they saw His miracles, they heard Him speak, and then they left Him in the dust. They collected gold, they melted it down and they made a golden calf. They made it and then they claimed it led them out of Egypt and they worshiped it.
When they heard God speak, they heard Him say "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. - Exodus 20:4-6 (ESV)
When it comes to idols, what should we know?
- We should know that idols are nothing - Jeremiah 10:2-5 Thus says the LORD: "Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them, for the customs of the peoples are vanity. A tree from the forest is cut down and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move. Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good." (ESV)
- We should not be deceived to follow - Deuteronomy 11:16 Take care lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them;(ESV)
- We should know God will not give His glory and praise to idols - Isaiah 42:8 I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. (ESV)
Here's Something To Ponder
- What kind of statues / idols do you have?
- Do you give God first place in everything?