When People Replace Jesus With Idols?
There is a downward spiral that people experience in their apostasy.
We would like to examine it using the imagery of the "bed."
May the Holy Spirit convict us of any idolatry in our lives and may we readily repent and make Jesus the center of our lives and homes once again.
1. The Bed Of Dissatisfaction
Isaiah 28:20 says - "For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it."
Let's face it! Idols never satisfy!
Here we have a picture of a people who were looking for defense, protection, rest, security, and comfort in - idols, the promises of the False Prophets, and aid from Egypt(the world) - but, in all cases, they always came up being "too short," "too narrow," or "not enough."
Idols have a way of doing this to their followers - they never seem to be enough...never satisfy...never answer the intention of the heart...never reach to the length of one's expectation.
The Prophet Isaiah superbly illustrates this with the imagery of a man lying on a bed that is "shorter than" he can "stretch himself on" and a covering that is insufficient to shelter from the elements.
People who are filled with idols are never satisfied ...can never find rest for their souls...are always complaining...are just plain miserable.
2. The Bed Of Spiritual Slothfulness
Proverbs 26:14 says - "As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed."
The idolater is in love with his ease. There is work to be done, business to be attended to, and opportunities to catch - but all is in vain for he lets them slip away. At times, he might get stirred up for change or improvement, but the idols in his life have such a hold on him, that he ends up going no where and doing nothing. As a door on its hinges, his life turns from the world to the flesh - from one pleasure to another.
3. The Bed Of Secrecy
Isaiah 57:8 says - "Behind the doors also and the posts hast thou set up thy remembrance: for thou hast discovered thyself to another than Me, and art gone up; thou hast enlarged thy bed, and made thee a covenant with them; thou lovest their bed where thou sawest it."
Idolatry - in the Scriptures - is always referred to as spiritual adultery. When God's people - who are supposed to be in a marriage covenant with Him - turn to idols, they are likened unto adulterers who break their marriage vows.
Hence, throughout this verse, we find references to the marriage bed - "...thou hast enlarged thy bed...thou lovest their bed where thou sawest it."
In order to accommodate all of their idols, a people do indeed "enlarge their bed." They are said to "love their bed" when they provide a place for the idols in their own heart, home, family, church, or land.
In this case - in the privacy of their homes - they were setting up idols and images of their gods. This was in keeping with the customs of the neighboring nations who had household gods and filled their homes with memorials of their idol worship.
This was in total violation to God's law which commanded that His Words be posted on the lintels and side posts of the doors and entrances. Instead, they had memorials erected in honor of their "dumb idols."
From behind every door and post of their houses, it was evident that these people had forgotten and forsaken the True and Living God for idols.
The questions we must ask ourselves are these -
What is found - behind closed doors - in our homes?
What kind of things fill them?
When someone enters them, can they sense the Presence of the Lord, or do they readily recognize a family given to idolatry?
Is God's Word or the TV given top priority as the rule for living?
Is Self the greatest house-devil?
The Bible tells us that there is a curse upon any man who makes a graven image and sets it in the secret place of his house.
When people enter our homes, do they sense the blessing of the Lord or His curse...His approval or disapproval on our lives?
4. The Bed Of Shamelessness
Isaiah 57:7 says - "Upon a lofty and high mountain hast thou set thy bed: even thither wentest thou up to offer sacrifice."
Once again, we have a picture of a people who have been unfaithful in their marriage vows to the Lord. They have committed spiritual whoredoms with their gods.
The difference here, however, is that things are progressively getting worse. Instead of confining their idols to their homes, they are now bringing them out into the open - with absolutely no shame in doing so.
"Upon a lofty and high mountain hast thou set thy bed" - They worship their idols publicly. Their thoughts and every day conversations are consumed with them.
At one time, they were a people whose lips were filled with the high praises of God. Now they cannot stop talking about, admiring, adoring, and praising their "lovers."
5. The Bed Of Suffering & Pain
Revelation 2:22 says - "Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds."
Idolatry is Sin in God's sight!
Filling our homes with idols and images is Sin!
Replacing Jesus in our hearts with other things is Sin!
Being consumed with anything or anyone other than the Lord Jesus is Sin!
The "bed" - marriage covenant with the Lord - that was meant to give comfort, rest, and great spiritual pleasure - if broken through idolatry - will bring pain and suffering in this life and eternal torment in the next.
God does not take Idolatry lightly.
He abhors it!
It's an abomination in His sight.
Let's never forget - idols never do and never will bring satisfaction and rest to our souls. Only Jesus can!
The downward spiral of apostasy begins the moment that we place anything or anyone before Him in our lives.
Therefore, in order to avoid this horrible outcome, it would behoove us to wholeheartedly receive the Apostle John's admonition - found in 1 John 5:21 - which says - "Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen."
The Apostle Paul adds - "...flee from idolatry" (1 Corinthians 10:14).
May God Bless His Word.