Published by DonDavidson on

Baal and Marduk were two of the false gods worshiped by the peoples of Canaan and nearby regions. Although God repeatedly warned the Israelites not to worship false gods such as these, and even included that warning in the Ten Commandments,[1] idolatry was a persistent problem for God’s people until after the Babylonian Exile.

Thank goodness we don’t have that problem today.

Or do we?

Time Magazine reports that a “black sheep” sweater belonging to the late Princess Diana was recently sold at auction for $1.14 million.[2] Do you think that sweater would have sold for that much if it had been owned by Jane Doe instead of Princess Diana?

Ticket prices for the recent NFL football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the New York Jets increased by as much as forty percent when it was learned that Taylor Swift planned to attend the game (she is reportedly dating Travis Kelce, who plays for the Chiefs).[3] People were apparently willing to pay a premium for those tickets in the hope of catching a glimpse of Ms. Swift.

Some people spend extraordinary sums of money—and/or extraordinary amounts of time—to demonstrate their devotion to their favorite sports team or their favorite celebrity.

Are these examples of idolatry? Perhaps. It depends.

Jesus told us that the foremost commandment in the Law is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.”[4]

If that commandment means anything, it means that we must love God above all else. God must be more important in our lives than money or any possessions—even more important than friends or family or our own lives. That is surely what Jesus meant when he said

The one who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and the one who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And the one who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.[5]

An “idol” is anything or anyone that is more important to you than God.

I have been a pro football fan most of my life. For many years I resented the fact that I would often miss the beginning of football games on Sunday mornings because of the church worship service, and sometimes I was tempted to skip church or leave early so I wouldn’t miss the kickoff. There may have even been times when I did skip church or leave early. But I realized that I was not putting God first. God needed to mean more to me than any football game.

Are you putting God first? Ask yourself these questions:

How do you spend your time?, and 

How do you spend your money?

Do you find time for prayer, church, and Bible study each week? Or do those get squeezed because of the time you devote to your job, your hobbies, or your other interests?

Is your tithe the first check you write every month? Or you do slash your giving to God when you run short of money?

Do you have idols in your life? Or is God your #1 priority?

[1]. See Exodus 20:3-5.

[2]. Time Magazine, October 9, 2023, p. 17

[3]. “Jets, Chiefs’ fans react to Taylor Swift MetLife Stadium appearance,” by Kendall Green, published October 2, 2023, and found at

[4]. Mark 12:28-30; see also Matthew 22:36-38, Luke 10:25-28, and Deuteronomy 6:5

[5]. Matthew 10:37-38


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *