Saturday, December 18, 2004

two-timing

(A meditation based on 2 Kings 17)

"The Israelites secretly did things against the Lord their God." 2 Kings 17:9

Secretly? Really! Did they think God was not aware - that they could pull one over on Him? It reminds me of the myriad incidents in the Bible where people tried to lie to God or His servants - Saul to Samuel, Gehazi to Elisha, Annanias and Sapphira to Peter. In all cases, and in many others, God saw. He whispered the truth to His servants. The thought that we can keep things a secret from God has always been an oxymoronic one.

But the Israelites in 2 Kings 17 tried it anyway. Even while these people were worshiping the Lord, they were building high places, setting up sacred stones and Asherah poles, burning incense and praying to idols.
"They worshiped the Lord but they also appointed all sorts of their own people to officiate for them as priests in the shrines at the high places. They worshiped the Lord but they also served their own gods in accordance with the customs of the nations from which they had been brought" (2 Kings 17:32,33)

Do we, do I, do this? Of course I don’t make images, erect poles, consecrate sacred places where I kneel before statues physically. But what do I bow to, put my hope and trust in, in the sanctuary of my heart? Have I perhaps done more two-timing worship than I care to admit - at altars of career success, achieving a personal agenda, collecting nice things, insisting, at the very least, on self-manufactured security?

I know when there is an irritation in my spirit, when I find myself troubled and restless, very often I find I am clutching something – a personal ambition, a design to gain prestige or attention, a fixed agenda, an expectation. My dis-peace or unease signals a two-timing heart, divided worship.

It feels unnatural and dangerous to give up the controls, to put complete trust in God. Surrendering everything, especially that last idol, is a wrenching thing. ("Jesus looked at him - the Rich Young Man - and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go sell everything you have.... Then come follow me.’ At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad because he had great wealth." Mark 10:21,22.) But only after we have, can we offer true worship.

2 comments:

john the step dad said...

Oh Violet,

john the step dad said...

Violet,
To look at our selves through the eyes of God Himself is the most frightening, but the most exciting thing I could think of. We fail at most evetry attempt but God still expects us to try. How many times has your time of worship been drawn away from God to the crying child or the presence of your spouse or to the music. I think God ask's for more than lip service and that is where "go sell evrything" comes in. I am often torn between my roll of "Servant of Christ" and my pride. Thanks for giving me the chance to take another look at my self and refect.

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