The Burden Of Idolatry

Idols are completely incapable of carrying you, lifting you, pushing you, or holding you when you are slipping. They are, in fact, just the opposite! Idols are a burden to all who worship them. They are dead weight, and a pain on your back. And it is not as though God has not warned us! Take a look at Isaiah 46:1-7. Bel and Nebo were Babylonian idols, the objects of worship for these immoral people. “Bel” was the title given to the supreme Babylonian god “Marduk.” His son was “Nebo” who was worshiped as the divine interpreter.

But as destruction befalls the people of these gods, it is discovered that more trouble arises from having to carry these idols than is beneficial. They are a burden, a load, and an anchor that will not come up out of ocean floor. When invaders breach a city, these gods cannot defend themselves and are, instead, taken into captivity. They are just as easily carried away by bandits as they are by their worshipers!

And it is the same way with our own “modern idols.” We tend to believe that money is the answer-all, that it can carry us and make us happy (Ecclesiastes 10:19). We believe that having a better house will make life more fulfilling. We think if we can only find the perfect spouse than our families will fall into place and everything will be grand. But is this not what the worshipers of Bel and Nebo thought? “If only we had a better gods to worship, then those gods will carry us through danger. Bel and Nebo could never be a burden to us!” But that is exactly what those idols became to them! Burdensome! Wealth does the same thing. Wealth does not make us happier and more carefree. It only brings more worries and troubles. It only brings greater concern for the safety and happiness of our families. With all this wealth comes greater responsibilities, bigger bills to pay, more services to buy, and so on and so on (Ecclesiastes 5:10-11, Proverbs 13:8, 11:4,28.

What a difference God makes, though. Unlike an idol, which must be carried from place to place and must be polished when it gets dirty, and must be guarded because of its gold and jewels, and must be picked up and lifted when it drops to the ground (1 Samuel 5:1-4), God does all of this for us! One of the loveliest descriptions of God in the entire Word is found in Psalm 37:5-7a, 23-24. God will hold our hands and lift us when we fall. We shall never be hurled headlong because He will not let us.