Recognizing Modern Idolatry Day 7: Sunday Selah
Our church has been studying Christ’s parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15 for the past few weeks. I have been brought to tears more than once by the realization that when we have fallen victim to the false promises of idols, we are longing for pig slop instead of joining in the father’s feast. As C.S. Lewis famously wrote in The Weight of Glory, “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” The idols that so often distract us really are mere pig slop and mud pies.
Our enemy, the devil, knows exactly how to pull us away from the Father’s house with thoughts of wealth or sexual pleasure or advancement or love or personal fulfillment; he knows what enticements will appeal the most to us. But, while the devil is committed to our destruction, we have a Father in heaven who willingly sent His Son to die for us, to save us from the traps of evil and bring us home. The Lord Jesus Christ found us, in our mess and in our longing for filth that will never satisfy, and freely offered us eternal life and a glimpse of His radiant glory. As we worship Him this morning, may our hearts be moved by the Savior’s immeasurable love for us broken sinners who cannot even know the depths of our own depravity but still desperately need to be set free. May we turn over everything we have and all that we are to Him, knowing that He is worthy of so much more.
“Hast Thou Heard Him, Seen Him, Known Him?”
–Ora Rowan (1834–1879)
Hast thou heard Him, seen Him, known Him?
Is not thine a captured heart?
Chief among ten thousand own Him;
Joyful choose the better part.
Idols once they won thee, charmed thee,
Lovely things of time and sense;
Gilded thus does sin disarm thee,
Honeyed lest thou turn thee thence.
What has stripped the seeming beauty
From the idols of the earth?
Not a sense of right or duty,
But the sight of peerless worth.
Not the crushing of those idols,
With its bitter void and smart;
But the beaming of His beauty,
The unveiling of His heart.
’Tis that look that melted Peter,
’Tis that face that Stephen saw,
’Tis that heart that wept with Mary,
Can alone from idols draw:
Draw and win and fill completely,
Till the cup o’erflow the brim;
What have we to do with idols
Who have companied with Him?
Captivated by His beauty,
Worthy tribute haste to bring;
Let His peerless worth constrain thee,
Crown Him now unrivaled King.