Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Idols and Worship
Ezekiel 6 begins with a curious assignment. The Lord tells Ezekiel to prophesy against the mountains of Israel. Why the mountains? What have they done wrong?
Strictly speaking, the mountains themselves did not act contrary to God's will. But they were the setting where unfaithful Israelites worshipped in so-called "high places," using Canaanite shrines and practices. This was idolatry, pure and simple. Rather than worshiping God in the way he had specified, the people took on the ways of the land in which they lived, thus dishonoring God and calling forth his judgment. In Ezekiel 6, this judgment is proclaimed against the mountains in a poetic way. Of course, it was the people of Israel who were truly guilty of rejecting God's ways in favor of the sinful ways of the place where they lived.I wonder if in our rush to be "culturally relevant" in our worship styles and choices how much of God's ways we set aside? No, we do not worship our God in pagan temples, but I wonder if when we emphasize only those parts of our God's stories that the culture wants to hear we do not do the same thing? If we believe that God works in history, I wonder if when we reject the wisdom accumulated over centuries about orders and forms of worship if we do not leave something vital out?
I wonder if when we examine our own lives we will find much of God's story missing?
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