Here is the second part to my devotional for creation. Here is the second point...
IDOLS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
If you have your copy of Gods word please turn to the book of Jonah. Most of you know the story of Jonah. If you don’t remember it I will give a quick recap of the story. The Lord comes to Jonah the Prophet and tells him to go to Nineveh and call out against the great evils that have been going on there. Well, he doesn’t like that idea and so he gets onto a ship and tries to flee to Tarshish. On the way, the Lord sends a great storm, it is so bad it is threatening to tear the boat apart. The men wonder whose fault it for this great storm and they decide that it is Jonah’s. And so, Jonah tells them that he is fleeing from the Lord’s will and to throw him over board. After he is thrown overboard a great fish eats him and he spends three days and nights praying in the belly. The fish ended up spitting him out on the shores of Nineveh where the Lord had wanted him to go in the first place. He went and did what he was supposed to do and life went on.
Well, the whole point to bringing up the story of Jonah is because it shows us very clearly the steps going from and idol centered life style to a Christocentric life style.
What is Jonah’s idol in this story? It is HIMSELF! He was not willing to go through persecution for the salvation of others. Nineveh was infamous for its cruelty, and he knew how they would react to his teachings.
Well there are two steps that go on during this story that bring Jonah from a self centered view to a Christ centered view. There is a physical and a spiritual. So he flees from the Lords will and gets on a ship. The big storm comes and the ship is about to crack and all the other men are wondering why is this happening and Jonah steps forward and says that he is a Hebrew and that he is fleeing from the Lord in verse 9. And what did he do next? What did he do to start himself in the right direction, to get himself where he was supposed be? He had them throw him overboard. This is the physical part of the process, it is to totally do away with the idol, get rid of it, throw it out of your life. He did not think he was going to live, he was being thrown into the sea! He know that he was the problem and so he was going to take care of it. So step number on do away with or abolish the idol.
The fish came and swallowed Jonah and he spent three days and three nights in its belly. This where the second step takes place which is the most important part, the spiritual. While he was in the fish he prayed and made his heart right. He realized his total dependence on God and he acknowledges God’s sovereignty. You have to realize that dealing with idols is a heart issue. Notice that he was not where he was supposed to be until his heart was made right. The physical aspect helps only in getting your heart right to the focus back on God. If you just did the physical without making your heart right, what would stop from making a new idol besides God? Again the heart issue is the most important.