For today and the next few weeks, we will be looking at a poem series which was inspired by one of Timothy’s Keller bestselling books entitled ‘Counterfeit Gods’.
Counterfeit Gods: Part 1 - The Idol Factory
By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling (31st March 2013)
Our hearts are deceitful as they constantly churn
Fleeting idols for which sacrifices are burned
Their promise to quench our desires in return
Leaves us unfulfilled and empty at every turn
Have vain idols captured your heart in place of God?
Have money, fame and vanity become your Lord?
Who is that person who infects your every thought?
What are the pleasures of addictions you have sought?
Have you been looking to idols for life’s meaning?
What loss would render your life hardly worth living?
Those counterfeit gods would prevent you from finding
True satisfaction in Jesus, the risen King.
Points for Reflection:
Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. (Acts 17:16)
· We are surrounded by a culture of idols. Even in this era of advanced modern technology, the presence of sophisticated idols is evident.
· During Apostle Paul’s time, pagans worshipped many idols in their futile attempt to fulfill the desires of their hearts. They worshipped Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, just as our modern day culture promotes and elevates the idolization of true love and obsession with physical beauty through Hollywood movies, celebrities and various advertising media. They paid homage to Athena, the goddess of wisdom, just as our modern day culture worships human wisdom in the form of Science. They worshipped Eirene, the goddess of wealth, just as our modern day culture enslaves people to their jobs in their pursuit of affluence.
“Son of man, these men have taken their idols into their hearts, and set the stumbling block of their iniquity before their faces. Should I indeed let myself be consulted by them? (Ezekiel 14:3)
· Idols are not confined to statues in pagan worship but they are anything that usurps the place of God in our hearts.
· As sinful human beings, our hearts are ‘idol factories’. What are the idols of your hearts? What are the things and who are the people you have been deriving your meaning of life from? What kind of loss would render your life meaningless?
· Many of those idols are not bad in and of itself but it is when the obsession of them pushes God out of the center of our hearts. Those idols will never ever satisfy our desires for only God is able to bring true meaning to our lives. That is why they are called counterfeit gods, false gods which promise so much but deliver so little. Pray for God to reveal to you those counterfeit gods and pray for an increasing desire for God instead of those vain idols.
Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. (1 Corinthians 10:14)
Little children, keep yourselves from idols. (1 John 5:21)
For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God (1 Thessalonians 1:9)