Among the sins to which the human heart is prone, hardly any other is more hateful to God than idolatry, for idolatry is at bottom a libel on His character. The idolatrous heart assumes that God is other than He is - in itself a monstrous sin - and substitutes for the true God one made after its own likeness. Always this God will conform to the image of the one who created it and will be base or pure, cruel or kind, according to the moral state of the mind from which it emerges. A god begotten in the shadows of a fallen heart will quite naturally be no true likeness of the true God. ”Thou thoughtest,” said the Lord to the wicked man in the psalm, “that I was altogether such as one as thyself.” Surely this must be a serious affront to the Most High God before whom cherubim and seraphim continually do cry, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth.” Let us beware lest we in our pride accept the erroneous notion that idolatry consists only in kneeling before visible objects of adoration, and that civilized peoples are therefore free from it. The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him. It begins in the mind and may be present where no overt act of worship has taken place.
Perverted notions about God soon rot the religion in which they appear. The long career
of Israel demonstrates this clearly enough, and the history of the Church confirms it. So
necessary to the Church is a lofty concept of God that when that concept in any measure
declines, the Church with her worship and her moral standards declines along with it.
The first step down for any church is taken when it surrenders its high opinion of God.
Before the Christian Church goes into eclipse anywhere there must first be a corrupting
of her simple basic theology. She simply gets a wrong answer to the question, “What is
God like?” and goes on from there. Though she may continue to cling to a sound
nominal creed, her practical working creed has become false. The masses of her
adherents come to believe that God is different from what He actually is; and that is
heresy of the most insidious and deadly kind.
The heaviest obligation lying upon the Christian Church today is to purify and elevate
her concept of God until it is once more worthy of Him - and of her. In all her prayers
and labors this should have first place. We do the greatest service to the next generation
of Christians by passing on to them undimmed and undiminished that noble concept of
God which we received from our Hebrew and Christian fathers of generations past. This
will prove of greater value to them than anything that art or science can devise.
O, God of Bethel, by whose hand
Thy people still are fed;
Who through this weary pilgrimage
Hast all our fathers led!
Our vows, our prayers we now present
Before Thy throne of grace:
God of our fathers!
be the God Of their
from A.W. Tozer's 'Knowledge of the Holy One'
"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan