I haven’t seen a lot of people offering sacrifices to little statues like we read about in the Old Testament but idolatry is still alive and kicking. If you don’t believe me, listen to the way some people talk about their presidential candidate of choice.
Of course, not every follower of politics is an idol worshiper. But a lot are. Here’s how you can tell the difference. The passionate observer finds the candidate he likes, votes for him and maybe tries to convince others to do the same but all the while he remembers that the candidate didn’t die on the cross to secure his salvation and eternal life.
The idol worshiper seems to forget that. His joy is wrapped up in the performance of his candidate. Rather than simply conversing about political differences with others, he ridicules them for having the nerve to not see things his way.
But it goes beyond that.
He views his candidate of choice as a messiah of sorts. His guy has done no wrong and never will do anything wrong but, on the small chance that he does, it’s someone else’s fault.
We need to pray for the idol worshipers because much like their Old Testament ancestors, the Philistines, things won’t end well for them.
The Philistines worshipped a god called Dagon. At one point, they got the upper hand on their rivals, the Israelites, and captured the ark of God. Thinking that this proved the superiority of their god over the God of the Israelites, the Philistines placed the ark in the same room with their statue god, Dagon.
The next morning, they woke up to a surprise.
Dagon had fallen face down on the ground before the ark. Like any good idol worshippers, they picked their god back up and put him in his place. Quick side note. If you have to pick your god up off the floor to defend his honor, you’re worshiping the wrong god.
The next morning, Dagon was down on the floor again. But this time it was worse. His head and hands had been cut off. The Philistine response to this second embarrassment was shocking. You might think that they would say, “Man, our god is pretty lousy. He can’t even keep himself together.” But they didn’t. Instead of abandoning their god, they got rid of the ark.
That’s another mark of a genuine idol worshiper. He’s more content with the shortcomings of his pretend god than the sovereignty of the one true God.
Like Dagon, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will fall on their faces before God. They’ll either do it willingly or in defeat. Either way, it’s a bit of a crisis when you see your god laying out in the middle of the floor. That’s why we need to pray for those who offer sacrifices to their political gods. The day of falling is coming. There’s no question about it.
But the real question concerns the American people, more specifically, American Christians. Well, at least people who call themselves Christians. The real God isn’t content with you placing him next to your political god. He does not share his glory with idols. He isn’t interested in building your kingdom or even the American kingdom. He is concerned with his kingdom alone. All others fall before him.
In the heat of our political passions, let’s be careful not to turn our ideas and candidates into gods.
The two top candidates in this race will not even make good presidents.
What makes you think that they’ll make good gods?