False To God
Job 31:26-28 (ESV) – if I have looked at the sun when it shone, or the moon moving in splendor, and my heart has been secretly enticed, and my mouth has kissed my hand, this also would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges, for I would have been false to God above.
What is practical atheism? It is different from the professed atheism. Professed atheism declares that there is no god. Whether that is actually believed in the heart of the individual or not, many live suppressing what is known about God because they don’t want to live for Him and give Him glory. But there is a different kind of atheism that prevails. Practical atheism is the kind that plays out in how we live. We may profess commitment to God with our mouths, but our lives look like atheist’s in what we do.
Our passage today reflects this reality. We read in Job 31:26-28, “if I have looked at the sun when it shone, or the moon moving in splendor, and my heart has been secretly enticed, and my mouth has kissed my hand, this also would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges, for I would have been false to God above.”
We see in our passage that Job remarks that if his heart would have been enticed by the sun or the moon, then it would have been idolatry against God. In other words, idolatry isn’t just the bowing down in front of a wooden or stone statue, but a sin where their heart adores things in their wrong order. Whenever God is not prioritized as our highest good, we are being idolaters. Most think they escape the sin because they confess God alone, but with our hearts we often embrace things above Him.
What are the idols of our own day? Status, power, wealth, popularity, acceptance, possessions, and more. These things, and the pursuit of them, can become idolatrous. By themselves, they are not idolatrous, but when acquiring them or treasuring them surpasses our desire for God, they become sin. The key is guarding and evaluating our hearts. If the heart remains firmly fixed on God as our highest good, then other things find their proper place.
What does this look like for you? Do you find any aspirations in your heart that surpass your commitment to God? Job reminds us that if our hearts run after other things above Him, we are in sin.
God alone is worthy as the object of highest desire. Let’s repent today of any disorder in our hearts, and return to the only fountain of satisfaction.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why is idolatry so often minimized by Christians today? What misunderstanding does this reflect?
- What are examples of modern idolatry?
- How can we guard our hearts and fight against this sin?
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