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Pointers along the way #682

Why go after other gods?

- Jacob Ninan

When God made the (old) covenant with the people of Israel, they heartily told Him that all that He had said, they would follow (Ex.24:3). They meant it sincerely. But their history is full of instances when they went after other gods, got into bondage, cried out to God and He rescued them. How could this happen?

We Christians are to keep that history in mind so that we ourselves will not turn away from God (1Co.10:6). We may not immediately go after sculptured idols or other faiths, but there is danger, nevertheless, that we might stray away from God going after things that eventually take the place of God in our life. It is good for us to think of how we may go after other gods just as it happened to Israel.

One way this happens is when one wants to marry a person from another faith or no faith. Even though God warns against it (2Co.6:14), and we have the example of how Solomon's foreign wives turned him to other gods (1Ki.11:4), people still think it will be all right for them!

For those who want to enjoy pleasures of this life without limit, the commandments of God can appear to be unnecessarily restrictive. They begin to reason to themselves that there is nothing wrong in enjoying life, but soon they may cross God's boundaries beginning with what they call 'little' compromises. In this case these pleasures have become gods in their life. It can be a pursuit after money, thinking that once we get enough of it, we can have all we want in life. The love of money is very deceptive (1Ti.6:10), and we will find that we have to bow a little here and there to Satan in order to get more of it (Mt.4:8,9). It may be too late when we discover that we cannot pursue God and wealth at the same time (Mt.6:24).

Another way we can get attracted towards other 'gods' is when we get disappointed with God, when He does not answer our prayers. If that happens it is actually only because He does not think what we have asked for is good for us or if He has something better for us. But if we do not believe this, we may try to seek other means to get what we want. Some use money, the help of influential people, and other religious practitioners to get things done. Some even go after psychics, astrologers, those who practice black magic, etc., seeking things for themselves!

The people of Israel may have become fascinated by the festivals and practices of their neighbours, or sought idols to get 'blessings' (without having to 'obey' God or give up sinful desires). Living among people of all kinds of faith, we may get influenced by them, not recognising the compromise creeping into our minds. We may forget that we are to influence them and not the other way.

The way of God is a narrow path in this life where only a few people walk (Mt.7:13,14). But there are treasures that God keeps for those who endure and overcome (Jas.1:12;1Co.2:9). It is not enough to start or to be sincere, but we need to hold fast to what we believe, till the end (He.3:14).


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