Sacred Sleepscapes

Psalm 115 — Idol Worship

August 23, 2023 Aneel Aranha Season 3 Episode 115
Sacred Sleepscapes
Psalm 115 — Idol Worship
Show Notes Transcript

Idols aren't just ancient statues; today, they manifest in our obsessions, desires, and distractions, pulling us away from a true relationship with God.

Psalm 115 — Idol Worship — Aneel Aranha

Not to us, LORD, not to us
but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.
Why do the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
Our God is in heaven;
he does whatever pleases him.
But their idols are silver and gold,
made by human hands.
They have mouths, but cannot speak,
eyes, but cannot see.
They have ears, but cannot hear,
noses, but cannot smell.
They have hands, but cannot feel,
feet, but cannot walk,
nor can they utter a sound with their throats.
Those who make them will be like them,
and so will all who trust in them.
All you Israelites, trust in the LORD—
he is their help and shield.
House of Aaron, trust in the LORD—
he is their help and shield.
You who fear him, trust in the LORD—
he is their help and shield.
The LORD remembers us and will bless us:
He will bless his people Israel,
he will bless the house of Aaron,
he will bless those who fear the LORD—
small and great alike.
May the LORD cause you to flourish,
both you and your children.
May you be blessed by the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
The highest heavens belong to the LORD,
but the earth he has given to mankind.
It is not the dead who praise the LORD,
those who go down to the place of silence;
it is we who extol the LORD,
both now and forevermore.
Praise the LORD.

In this psalm, the psalmist speaks against idols of silver and gold made by human hands. It is as relevant today as the day it was written. You might say we no longer have silver and gold idols. But idols are not just statues. They can be anything we place undue importance on, derive our value from, or put our trust in. 

This can include money, career, relationships, fame, and personal achievements. They can even include seemingly positive pursuits like health and fitness. Technology and social media can also become idols when they dominate our time, thoughts, and affections. At their center, these things reflect a deep human desire for security, validation, and purpose. However, when they overshadow our relationship with God, they can lead us astray, making us focus on the superficial rather than the  meaningful.

Certain New Age beliefs and practices can also be seen as modern-day idolatry. This is not necessarily because New Age followers are worshiping statues but because anything that replaces or diminishes the centrality of God can be considered an idol. For instance, if one seeks spiritual power, enlightenment, or healing through crystals, energy fields, or spirit guides rather than through God, we are putting our faith in something other than God.

The apostle Paul spoke to the Athenians about their idols and pointed them to the living God: "Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:29-31). 

The message is clear: Turn away from lifeless idols and turn to the living God. And as the psalmist sings, "He will bless those who fear him—small and great alike."

May he bless you.