Morning, May 4, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“Can man make gods for himself? Yet they are not gods!” — Jeremiah 16:20
One great besetting sin of ancient Israel was idolatry, and the spiritual Israel, the Church, is vexed with a tendency to the same folly. We no longer worship Saturn or the stars, and the women weep no more for the fertility god Tammuz, but Mammon still intrudes its golden calf, and the shrines of pride are not forsaken. Self-worship in various forms struggles to subdue the chosen ones under its dominion and sets up its altars wherever it can find space for them. Favorite children are often the cause of much sin in believers; the Lord is grieved when he sees us doting upon them above measure; they will live to be as great a curse to us as Absalom was to David, or they will be taken from us to leave our homes desolate. If Christians desire to grow thorns to stuff their sleepless pillows, let them idolize their dear ones.
It is truly said that “they are not gods,” for the objects of our foolish love are very doubtful blessings, the comfort which they yield us now is dangerous, and the help which they can give us in the hour of trouble is little indeed. Why, then, are we so bewitched with empty things? We pity the poor pagans who adore a god of stone, and yet worship a god of gold. Where is the vast superiority between a god of flesh and one of wood? The principle, the sin, the folly is the same in either case, only that in ours the crime is more aggravated because we have more light, and sin in the face of it. The pagan bows to a false deity, but the true God he has never known; we commit two evils, in so much as we forsake the living God and turn to idols. May the Lord purge us all from this grievous iniquity!
“The dearest idol I have known,
Whate’er that idol be;
Help me to tear it from thy throne,
And worship only thee.”