1 Kings 12:25-29

Fear is a powerful force in our lives. For many people, the fear of death strips away life’s joy and peace. Paralyzed with worry about the future, some people are incapable of living fully or enjoying the present. 

Jeroboam is afraid of losing his power as the king of Israel, so he sets up an alternate worship location. This way his people won’t keep going to Jerusalem in Judah to worship. Then, doubling down on the mistake Aaron made earlier in Hebrew history, Jeroboam casts two golden calves and declares to Israel, Here are your gods (1 Kings 12:28). 

What made those golden idols so appealing then? That may be the wrong question to ask. What makes them appealing now? We want something we can touch, something we can see. We want something that will not change. A god set in stone will never change and will never ask us to change.

In 2019, we are far too sophisticated for this primitive religion that would trap god in a golden calf, but we know the temptation of idolatry. We can make an idol of almost anything—entertainment, money, power, family. We can worship at the altar of partisan politics or personal gain. We craft and create gods that affirm our persuasions, share our convictions, and endorse our lifestyle without causing us to question any of our values.

Most of our idolatry is born in fear. Faith requires us to move beyond our fears and step outside of our comfort zones. God calls us on a journey that will include great risks.

Golden calves are safe, but they are not capable of saving anyone. They promise the easy life, but Jesus came to offer life to the fullest
(Jn 10:10).

Every day, we choose to worship God or a god…not by what we say, but by what we do.


What fears do I face, and what idols have I created to address those fears?


God, comfort my fears and remind me of your love and grace so that I may no longer be satisfied by anything less than you. Amen.

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