“An idol is who or what you seek instead of God.”
When you picture an idol you probably think of a stone statue of a big belly man or some type of animal/human metamorphosis. So, when you read the title of this devotional you knew if you dumped out your backpack, you would not find anything like that hiding at the bottom. But the idols in a Christians’ life can be disguised as so different than just a stone image. Idol are things like pride, money, popularity, body image, hobbies, possession and even people. While we need money to live (Matthew 6:31-33),caring for our bodies is fitting(I Corinthians 6:19-20), God is the giver of good gifts and we can take joy in the hobbies He has given us (James 1:17; Psalm 37:4); But when we begin to value something or someone above God, we have created an idol that is lurking in the bottom of our backpack. The Babylonians worshipped many false gods, with Bel (Baal) and Nebo being their chief gods. In this week’s devotional reading you discovered that in Isaiah 46 God warns them that their gods will one day be carried away in sacks and by beast. The Persians will overtake the Babylonian Empire and steal their idols to be melted down for their value. Within this unusual story are the keys to helping each of us to identify the idols that maybe unexpectantly be riding in our backpack.
The Bible tells us that , “they could not deliver the burden, but themselves are gone into captivity.” The people of Babylon had put all their faith into their idols, yet when the people needed help, those gods could not deliver them. In fact, the idol could not carry the people from bondage, but the idols themselves had to be carried by others. God often must put us in desperate situations, for us to realize that our idols cannot rescue us.
If you dump out your backpack you may find many useless and dated items. For days , weeks and even months you have be carrying around unnecessary weight. How weary and worn we can become from the things in our backpacks that give us nothing but take our energy and priceless time. The Babylonian idols were said to “weary” the beast that were carrying them. Idols promise everything yet take far more than they can ever give us. In the end our idols leave us empty and unsatisfied.
When you insist on clinging to an idol you will eventually buckle under their weight. “Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle: your carriages were heavy loaden;” The idols that were carried out of Babylon were so massive that their weight was more than the beast could bare, the animals crumbled under their weight. Idols may fill time and attempt to fill emotional and physical voids in our lives. But if we do not release our death grip on our idols our lives crumble under demands of those idols. To Satan’s glee we will lay broken and sidelined on the path God intended for our lives.
As we grasp to hold onto our worthless idols, God provides a stark comparison of His power in a surrendered life. “I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.” “…for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,”. Pour the contents of your life before God and ask God to reveal to you the idols that are crippling your walk with Him. Be willing to be honest and repentant. Ask Him for wisdom and the strength to let go of your idols. Then fill the void with the overwhelming presence and “Rock” solid promises of the one true and living God.