No other gods

21 Jun

I was reading 2 Kings 17 this morning (part of my Bible reading plan) and part of it caught my eye. In that chapter, the King of Assyria exiles the Israelites (part of God’s plan because of their disobedience and idolatry). The nations who went to live in Samaria in place of the Israelites were taught by one of the Israelite priests how to fear the LORD. But the nations still worshiped the gods they had gotten from other nations. “So they feared the LORD but also served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away.” (v. 33) The LORD’s commandment had been (and still was) “You shall not fear other gods or bow yourselves to them or serve them or sacrifice to them, but you shall fear the LORD.” (v. 35)

How many times as I like those nations? I fear the LORD but still serve my other gods–approval of man, thinness, wealth, beauty, comfort, ease, success. Am I sacrificing to those other gods? As I giving things up to have them, because they will make me happy? Is life found in them?

Reading The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis has made me think about the resurrection of my earthly body and my longing to be glorious, as shown in my struggle with my body image. Just as I am content with fewer earthly possessions because of the eternal payoff of giving money to the church and ministries, so I can be content with a less-than-perfect body now because I will get a perfect and glorious one in heaven.

We aren’t meant to be satisfied here! Our dissatisfaction here isn’t supposed to drive us to greater and greater measures to make ourselves happy–more diets, more possessions, more experiences. Our dissatisfaction is supposed to drive us to God and the satisfaction only found in Him. It is supposed to drive us to find comfort in the hope of the gospel:

“…with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body… Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.” (1 Corinthians 15:42-44; 49)

So when I am struggling and wishing I were thinner or my stomach were flatter, I will remind myself that someday I WILL have the body I’ve always wanted–in heaven. That will make heaven even sweeter.

One Response to “No other gods”

  1. Ruby June 22, 2008 at 2:32 am #

    good for you 🙂

    I think it’s easy to think about all of our small imperfections, and even easier to forget how beautiful we are in God’s eyes.

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