The Word for today:
Yesterday we saw that the Bible pictures idolatry as spiritual adultery, and that God takes this unfaithfulness personally:
I was crushed by their adulterous heart which has departed from Me, and by their eyes which play the harlot after their idols. (6:9)
Today, as we tour the Temple with Ezekiel, we are saddened to see the various idols that had taken God's place in Israel's hearts:
the idol that provokes to jealousy (8:3);
seventy elders of Israel, each at the shrine of his own idol (8:12);
twenty-five others, probably priests, with their backs turned toward God as they bowed down to the sun (8:16), and literally thumbed their noses at the LORD (8:17).
***Idols often take more subtle forms today. They can be hard to identify. Anything that we place above God is idolatry, spiritual adultery. It might be a relationship which, according to the evidence of our lives, we prize more highly than our relationship with God. It might be a lifestyle, or a goal--anything that, according to the evidence of our lives (real things like checkbooks and appointment calendars) has become a higher priority than God.
If God were to tour the chambers of your heart, what would he see there? Would he see someone else--or something else--in his place?
Above all else, guard your heart (1). Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? (2) The temple of God cannot have any agreement with idols (3).
God took your place on the cross. Don't let any other take his place in your heart. We saw Jesus cleanse the Temple, turn the tables, and kick the money changers to the curb. It may be time for some Spring-cleaning of our own.
(1) Proverbs 4:23; (2) 1 Corinthians 3:16; (3) 2 Corinthians 6:16