Wednesday, June 13, 2012

idolatry is a dumb idea

Therefore the LORD was angry with Amaziah and sent to him a prophet, who said to him, "Why have you sought the gods of a people who did not deliver their own people from your hand?"
2 Chronicles 15:15

Seeking anyone or anything other than God is where idolatry leads us. And the way in which our hearts will worship almost anything is very distressing. The story of Amaziah lets us in on just how crazy our idolatrous hearts can be.

Amaziah sought the Lord as he went to battle against the Edomites. God assured him the victory if he would dismiss 100,000 Israeli mercenaries from his assembled army. He did so, went to battle, and Judah handily defeated the Edomites as God had promised. You'd think that Amaziah would be filled with profound thankfulness to God. But instead he does a really, really stupid thing. He takes the idols of the Edomites that he captured in battle, sets them up in Jerusalem, and worships them.

God sent a prophet to confront the king and even God is seemingly baffled by Amaziah's motivation. He asked the question about the incredulous behavior: "Why are you worshiping the gods of a people I gave to you in battle? What possible reason would there be to worship impotent gods of a defeated nation?" And at this point God warns that Judah will suffer punishment for disobedience.

Israel still has a bone to pick with Amaziah in Jerusalem. They were angry about being dismissed from the battle with Edom. Eventually relations sour to the point that an army from Israel marches to Judah, attacks Jerusalem, tears down a large portion of the city wall, and ransacks the temple. Amaziah is eventually deposed and killed in a palace conspiracy after this humiliation. It's really a testament to the stupidity of idolatry. It's dumb to replace God.

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