The more I read of this devotional, the more I appreciate the author, Walt Wiltschek. He is a savvy shopper. Yesterday, he mentioned the grocery store produce bargain bin as a likely place to find inexpensive healthy foods . . . or a bag of mold. Today, he mentions $20 “Rolex” watches offered by a city street vendor. Those probably aren’t real Rolexes, and they probably are not worth $20. I looked up the prices of real Rolex watches, and they often cost in the 4- to 6-digit dollar range!
The Bible verses for today point out the foolishness of worshiping idols made by humans when God is the one who made the mountains and waters, all of our world. There is no comparison. Obviously, God is the “real deal” who deserves our worship.
Do you sometimes wonder what those Old Testament folks were thinking? I do. I think it sounds silly to give some inanimate object all of the devotion that God deserves. I cannot visualize any of us, today, sitting in front of a statue and getting mentally, emotionally, or spiritually involved with it.
But, with modern-day application, I do see our society doing something just like that. How often have people become emotionally affected by what they are staring at–in their phones, on their screens–becoming so involved with social media, biased misinformation, or entertainment (wholesome and otherwise) that they turn their devotion away from God and toward their scrolling or newsfeed? (It’s even called feed! Are we being lured? Oh, most certainly! And often most willingly!) Sometimes these distractions lead us to turn against each other, which is not the Jesus way.
Wiltschek asks in his conclusion for today, “What budget solutions and imitators do we turn to rather than following the sometimes-costly but ultimately satisfying call of God?”
I need to be mindful of what I’m turning away from whenever I choose to turn toward a focus. I want to be turning toward what God is calling me to do. As Pastor Pam mentioned in her wonderful list of “Rs” in Sunday’s sermon, we need to “Return to the you-shaped work that God needs you to do.” That may not be as convenient in the moment as some of those screen distractions, but it will most assuredly be more satisfying because God is the “real deal”!
I am so glad that I am a member of a church that allows and even encourages us to ask questions and not just settle for easy platitudes. Sometimes, it is hard to not have "the answer". There is a type of bias called "complexity bias". It seems that the human mind prefers a simple lie rather than a complex truth. I think because of that we can be so easily duped. But we have been given a brain that allows us to think and reason and question and understand. I pray for the wisdom to discern God's will for our lives and the faith to respond accordingly.
I wonder whether our national decision not to defend Ukraine with all our power, i.e. militarily is a choice that is not worth it. It's an "easy answer" to say we can't because that would cause a world war. Well, how much are the lives of the people there worth? Is it not our calling to help our neighbors? I don't want war anymore than anyone does but aren't we already in it? Millions of people are under duress and a madman is out of control. What is our real responsibility here?