Topic > Christianity & Culture > Philosophy & Religions > Idolatry >
The ornate ceremonial bow and quiver had hung on the wall of our home in Michigan for years. I’d inherited them from my father, who acquired the souvenirs while we were serving as missionaries in Ghana.
Then one day a Ghanaian friend visited us. When he saw the bow, he got a strange look on his face. Pointing to a small object tied to it he said, “That is a fetish—a magic charm. I know it has no power, but I would not keep it in my house.” Quickly we cut the charm from the bow and discarded it. We didn’t…
Chemotherapy reduced the tumor in my father-in-law’s pancreas, until it didn’t. As the tumor began to grow again, he was left with a life-and-death decision. He asked his doctor, “Should I take more of this chemo or try something else, perhaps a different drug or radiation?”
The people of Judah had a similar life-and-death question. Weary from war and famine, God’s people wondered whether their problem was too much idolatry or not enough. They concluded they should offer more sacrifices to a false god and see if she would protect and prosper them (Jeremiah 44:17).
Jeremiah said they had wildly misdiagnosed their…
Got Your Nose
“Why are the statues’ noses broken?” That’s the number one question visitors ask Edward Bleiberg, curator of Egyptian art at the Brooklyn Museum.
Bleiberg can’t blame it on normal wear and tear; even two-dimensional painted figures are missing noses. He surmises that such destruction must have been intentional. Enemies meant to kill Egypt’s gods. It’s as if they were playing a game of “got your nose” with them. Invading armies broke off the noses of these idols so they couldn’t breathe.
Really? That’s all it took? With gods like this, Pharaoh should have known he was in trouble. Yes, he had an…
Sam checks his retirement account twice each day. He saved for thirty years, and with the boost of a rising stock market, finally has enough to retire. As long as stocks don’t plunge. This fear keeps Sam fretting over his balance.
Jeremiah warned about this: “You, Judah, have as many gods as you have towns; and the altars you have set up to burn incense to that shameful god Baal are as many as the streets of Jerusalem” (11:13).
Judah’s idolatry is remarkable. They knew the Lord was God. How could they worship anyone else? They were hedging their bets. They needed…
Are We Idolizing Our Relationships?
“My life is incomplete. I’m still waiting until my knight in shining armor swings by on his horse, scoops me up in his arms, and takes me away in the distant sunset! And then, I’ll feel complete.”
Effective strategy for victory
Have you ever “let your emotions get the better of you”? Well, temptation can often find an emotional entry point in our life that makes it difficult to resist. Today on Discover the Word, we find that Jesus felt the lure of temptation too, but employed an effective strategy for victory. It’s another encouraging discussion about […]
As he awaited his baptism in Togo’s Mono River, Kossi stooped to pick up a worn wooden carving. His family had worshiped the object for generations. Now they watched as he tossed the grotesque figure into a fire prepared for the occasion. No longer would their choicest chickens be sacrificed to this god.
In the West, most Christians think of idols as metaphors for what they put in place of God. In Togo, West Africa, idols represent literal gods that must be appeased with sacrifice. Idol burning and baptism make a courageous statement about a new believer’s allegiance to the one…
Are there any urban legends in the Bible?
From Bigfoot to the Loch Ness Monster, urban legends abound! But what about in the Bible? Are there any myths or urban legends included in the Scriptures? Tune in today to Discover the Word as we talk about a remarkable story of bones healing someone. It’s the final chapter in “The Miraculous Life of Elisha,” […]
Demolition or opportunity
It’s all a matter of perspective. Demolition can be seen as destruction or it can be seen as an opportunity. And as we’ll see today on Discover the Word, God will demolish anything that stands between Him and His people. But is demolition the end goal? An encouraging truth the group can’t wait to share […]
Early in my career while doing work that I saw as more like a mission than a job, another company offered me a position that offered a significant increase in pay. Our family could surely have benefited financially from such a move. There was one problem. I hadn’t been looking for another job because I loved my current role, which was growing into a calling.
But the money . . .
I called my father, then in his seventies, and explained the situation. Though his once-sharp mind had been slowed by strokes and the strain of years, his answer was crisp and…
Why I’m Fasting for the First Time
“Do you love God more than you love sugar?” A small voice in my head asked. I wavered, and was struck by the fact that I actually hesitated. We all have our coping mechanisms in times of stress and pressure.
Can We be Rich and Godly at the Same Time?
My youth group had just begun a study on the Beatitudes. As we were trying to make sense of the first beatitude in Luke 6:20, one youth asked, “Does it mean that Christians can’t be rich?” The question was to be expected, since Jesus’ statement seemed to suggest this line of thinking.
Truth with Love
Find out how you can tell others about Jesus, be knowledgeable and respectful of differences, and stand firm in your own beliefs.
Last fall, an expressway in my city was shut down for several hours because a cattle truck had overturned. The cattle had escaped and were roaming across the highway. Seeing this news story about stray cattle made me think of something I had recently studied in Exodus 32 about the people of God who strayed from Him.
A Father To Follow
When I think of my father, I think of this saying: “He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and he let me watch him do it.” During my youth, I watched my dad walk with God. He participated in Sunday morning church services, taught an adult Bible-study class, helped with counting the offering, and served as a deacon.