Monday, March 23, 2009

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego - The True American Idol

Daniel 3:1-6 King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, ninety feet high and nine feet wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it. Then the herald loudly proclaimed, "This is what you are commanded to do, O peoples, nations and men of every language: As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace."

A stampede of shoppers in a Valley Stream Wal-Mart Stores on Friday morning left one worker dead and at least three patrons injured after an impatient crowd broke down the store doors and trampled the seasonal employee, Nassau police said. Jdimytai Damour of Jamaica, Queens, was pushed to the ground by the 2,000-plus crowd just before 5 a.m. as management was preparing to open the store, which is located across from the main Green Acres Mall building. Hundreds stepped over, around and on the 34-year-old worker as they rushed into the store. "This crowd was out of control," said Nassau Police Det. Lt. Michael Fleming, whose squad is investigating. "Nobody was trying to help him," said shopper Nakea Augustine, who was in the line. "They were rushing in the store, rushing, rushing, rushing."

This story flashed across headlines during the holiday season this past year. What is it that these people were in such a hurry for, that they would shove a man down and kill him and not notice it? It seems almost unbelievable. But then, so did King Nebuchadnezzar's idol.

We look at the story of this king today and say - 'oh, that's an interesting s
tory - but it just doesn't apply today'. The truth is, this story is more relevant today than it has ever been. Our idols don't even have to be 9 feet tall. It's anything that we are so pre-occupied with, that we will stop everything we're doing at a certain time to go to that idol. Does the 'TV' ring a bell? How often will we plan our schedules around what time a particular show comes on? I'm guilty of it - but DVR has helped, ha. What about a concert or show that comes to town that you will do anything to get tickets for - even if it means a debt that you promised to pay gets pushed back again.

Even things that may have once been considered a part of your responsibility can be shoved into that 'idol' category. The mom who takes the overtime hours at her job instead of being at the baseball game to watch her son. Now many may disagree about jobs being idols, but when you're putting the bills and the almighty dollar that is thought of as a 'need' ahead of what God has put us in charge of (family, children) then that is dangerous territory. Maybe there is something that can be pushed away - like the expensive car or the gym membership you don't use or the pay channels on cable, so that the 'things' of the world will seem unimportant when it comes to what God has said should be a priority. Let's not let society tell us what to and when to bow down.

4 wonderful insights:

Greg C said...

There are so many people today that worship money and don't even know it. The also have false idols like Plasma TV's and fancy cars and big houses. People are always amazed when they see my house because it isn't up to par for a man of my position. Our plan (and we stick to it) was for my wife to raise our children and not work while they were young. Yes we sacraficed and don't have really expensive things but then we have the best children around and that is worth more to me. I am happy driving my Honda Civic to work. :)

Chatty Kelly said...

I'm with you & Greg. NOTHING is more important that raising God-loving respecting, respectful kids. So I stay home.

debrah said...

Great Post Dorothy. We sometimes take God for granted and push Him aside in pursuit of things/people that seem more demanding of our attention. I suffer from saving the best for last syndrome and can miss out on spending precious time with my Lord by trying to take care of other stuff first.

Kay Martin said...

This is so good. But I have found I can make good things idols that take my focus from the Lord. Earlier years God convicted me of idolizing my husband and my children above God. I could only love them and care for them wholly once God was in the number 1 place in my heart. When Jesus summarized the commandments into 2; He made it clear that we will first love the Lord with all our heart, mind and soul.

I find I have to work to keep time for Him alone...to cry out; to celebrate life and to listen to Him. You've hit the core of our faith. What a blessing you are in this blog. Keep on with the good work.