One of the themes in the book of Jeremiah is the denunciation of idol worship. The Lord hates idols because they are made from our hands, and they have no power in themselves. “Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, nor is it in them to do good” (Jeremiah 10:5).
Now I am not quite sure that we make idols or false gods in this sense. I don’t know about you, but I have never picked up a rock or fashioned a stick into a god of my own choosing.
But what really causes the Lord to become jealous is the worship of that idol. The Lord is not threatened by the idol itself, but is angry at us when we divert our attention elsewhere.
Though it’s a convenient play on words, I sincerely believe that being idle has become the new idol. So many of us want to rush home and veg out in front of the TV. Instead of actively pursuing worship opportunities or personal spiritual lives, we find ourselves surfing through endless hours of facebook. This idleness is idol worship, because it takes away our time, energy, and focus on worship of the true God.
Rather than idly worshiping ourselves, we need to worship the One who created us by engaging in creative activities of study and work. I am not saying that you should never relax. But relaxing doesn’t necessarily mean plopping down on the sofa for a few hours each night. Recharging our batteries or taking it easy should also mean praying, reading the Bible, worshiping.