Psalm 16:4 contains a sober warning for us all. It says, “The sorrows of those who take another god for themselves will multiply”. The gods of this world fill our minds and our hearts, diverting attention away from Christ and onto our desires. We invest far too much of our time and resources in things that do not glorify Jesus. These other gods inhabit our entertainment choices, our priorities, and our thoughts.
Jesus demands all of us, and we profess to have given it to Him. Reality dictates otherwise, and according to the Psalmist, we multiply our sorrows. If you wonder why you don’t seem to find the abundant life Jesus promised, perhaps it’s because too many idols are filling your life. It’s not something any of us want to admit, but is true in almost all our lives.
When God gave Moses the original ten commandments of the law, the very first was to have no other gods before the only eternal and true God (Exodus 20:2-6). When we read the story of the Israelites, we shake our heads at their worship of man-made idols, especially over the uncreated God through whom everything else was created. And yet, thousands of years and hundreds of thousands of lessons later. We are still worshipping other gods.
The idols of today are still man-made. They are still as powerless as ever. Even so, we bow before them, giving them the best of the time and money God entrusts to us. The sin is no less serious today. Not only does our idolatry rob from God the glory due Him, it robs us of the abundant life He promises to those who love Him (John 10:10). When we steal from God, He does not suffer. We do.
Looking around your residence, what idols do you see? Perhaps the most obvious is the large screen put in the most prominent place in your living area. Is it not troubling we put our television’s in such a focal spot, the place where everyone can view it easily, but our Bible’s remain tucked away far from view? Something is wrong with this picture (pardon the pun). When we display our TV prominently, and usually in an elevated place, how can we not see the parallel between it and the idols of old? This is the part where I’m supposed to say, “I’m not saying having a television is bad…”, but I’ll only say if your television is receiving more attention, honor, and focus than God, then something is very wrong.
We all have other gods in our lives, and every one of them needs to be rooted out. Only the true God is worthy of our praise. Only Jesus has the power to give what we seek in all these other gods. We are pitting ourselves against God when He is not the first and only in our lives. It’s not as if we don’t have enough sorrows in our life. Why would we want to multiply them? If you love God, you will obey His commands (John 14:15). And that means we must rid our lives of all these other gods. We must surrender completely to Jesus.