A few years ago, I came across a daily devotion calendar that had this as an inspirational quote: “if thou therefore will worship me, all shall be thine.” It’s pretty obviously from the King James Version and the gospel of Luke. And on its face, it sounds nice enough.
In reality, however, it is the words of Satan to the Word of God made flesh. It is bait, some that Jesus does not take. But let’s put this in a modern context.
What are the modern gods we choose to worship in our world?
Money. Power. Superficial beauty. Force-filled strength. Blind comfort. Simple answers. And the list goes on from there.
We make our gods whatever we find most appealing to us.
However, that is not who our God is.
Our God is one who has revealed God’s self throughout history. In the scriptures there are countless times God sets the priorities God truly desires: caring for the unwanted, poor, and oppressed. Welcoming the stranger and the alien with open arms. Standing up to the systems in this world that keep the powerful on their thrones and others under their footstools. Seeking justice for the silenced. And using love as our constant lens through which we check every decision.
Not romantic love. God love – self-sacrificing, abundant, radical, willing to do anything to serve another love.
Anytime we choose to believe or do something that is in direct or indirect conflict with the purposes God has made abundantly clear, we are choosing the gods that look like us. We are choosing to worship something else. And our God will have no other gods before God.
So, I ask you – choose this day whom you will serve. As for me and my house, to quote Joshua and Micah, we will serve the Lord by doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our God.