Idolatry is a word not often heard today but I believe we, as a church, are steeped it in, sometimes without even realizing it. The Holman Bible Dictionary defines and idol as “Physical or material image or form representing a reality or being considered divine and thus an object of worship.” Hence, idolatry is the worship of such an object. While most of us do not pray to small statues of various God’s I believe we are very guilty of worshiping an image of our own creation every time we attempt to fashion God in our own image instead of worshiping the God of creation. I have heard many people exclaim things like “I just don’t believe in a God that would allow hell to exist” or the ever popular “If God is good how could he allow so much evil in the world?”
God is God and he is sovereign which as Pastor Rod Parsley puts it, is a slightly theological way of saying “God is God and he will do what he damn well pleases,” and might I add that means whether we like it or not. We must take God as he is and all of him or not at all.
There was a time when the disciples faced this dilemma. In John we see the story of Jesus telling his disciples “Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” Now in retrospect we have an understanding of this passage that may cloud how we read it. Picture it Galilee 35 A.D, Jesus has just had to preach from a boat because of the size of the crowd, things are going well as far anyone would be concerned. Then Jesus makes a very strange proclamation, especially since Jewish people did even eat animals’ blood. This was a not only gross but went against the Law of Moses. “Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, this is an hard saying; who can hear it?… From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?”
Jesus made a statement to difficult for many to handle and they left because he was not the God they thought he would be and he turned to the twelve and asked if they would do the same. What is going on in their heads? They have devoted time to this man but it is only John chapter 6 so it hasn’t been to long. He must be crazy how can we possibly do this? Does he really expect us to eat his flesh? I wonder if dad still has the fishing boat?
“Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” I can just imagine Peter, not an educated man, pulling out a fork and knife, not having a clue what Jesus meant but willing to take him as he is and do what it takes. I am sure the twelve breathed a collective sigh of relief at the last supper when they realized what Jesus was talking about.
Often we are faces with issues in our Christianity that are difficult and may go against the way we wish things to be. My first and many young converts first issue is sexual morality. I did not like the fact that God would tell me how to act in matters of the fairer sex but if I was truly to follow him 100% as I had promised then I had to take Him as he was. I have not found one of those moments in a while but I believe I am facing one now (I may get into it in more detail later) In our study of God and Scripture we must be careful not to create an idolatrous image of God but to eat his flesh and drink his blood as he has commanded whether we like it not after else to whom else will you go?