In that day people will throw away to the moles and bats their idols of silver and idols of gold, which they made to worship. Isaiah 2:20

When I read about idols in the Bible, I wonder what’s the equivalent in Western society? We’re too sophisticated to bow down to the things we’ve made, yet idols come in many different guises. What’s an idol to someone might not have the same influence in someone else’s life so it’s hard to recognise idols.

An idol can be anything we prize and value if it takes God’s place in our lives. However as we don’t treat objects in a worshipful way, we overlook the power of idols in our lives. In Ortlund’s Commentary of Isaiah, he notes: “Idols are precious. They are always our hard-won silver and gold. That’s why we prize them. They are beautiful, but also contemptible.”

An idol is something that has cost us dearly but the cost may not be monetary. It could be time. Time spent pursuing a career, a relationship, a hobby, an achievement, a status. It could even be something that’s a good and beneficial way of spending our time. Yet Ortlund describes idols as contemptible because they rob us of God.

Recently I heard the testimony of a promising footballer who became a Christian and lost interest in playing football. Not that being a footballer is a bad career choice but rather for him football had been the source of his fulfilment. Once he became a Christian he realised football’s inadequacy to provide him with lasting satisfaction.

Are there idols in our lives that are going undetected? Things that are stealing our time and robbing us of what God wants to give us.