I was speaking with my friend Chris this morning and we were considering how unbelievably inconsistent people can be. He shared from his time in Eastern Europe how confused some Europeans are at how distressed Americans get over wardrobe malfunctions, yet we seem to love the explicit violence on prime time television. I have a friend who is a principled and outspoken vegan who won’t eat eggs, yet he is pro abortion. In San Francisco they want to ban happy meal toys and high sugar content sodas, yet there are more marijuana shops than coffee shops in town. But it gets even worse! The craziest inconsistency of them all is recorded in
2 Kings 17:41, and it is about God’s people: “Even while these people were worshipping the LORD, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their fathers did.”
We don’t have to be too imaginative to picture what this would have looked like back then – Ezekiel describes it for us! In Ezekiel 8, the Lord shows Ezekiel a vision of what is transpiring in the temple in Jerusalem. An idol is set up in the north gate of the inner court. The walls of the storage rooms are covered with images of detestable animals and false gods. Women are worshipping Tammuz; men are bowing down to the sun. But what would it look like today – when their children and grandchildren continue to struggle with the fact that the Lord our God has commanded that we love him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength?
Today we are like that temple. As the Church we are “like living stones, being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5).
But what stands in our gateways? What kinds of detestable images make up the spiritual graffiti that covers our closets’ walls? What forms of idolatry are we as women particularly prone to? Men?
Until we can answer these questions honestly (for ourselves) and commit to change boldly, we will continue to pass on this legacy of inconsistency. We will continue to worship the Lord, while still serving idols. We will continue to love the Lord our God with some of our heart, soul, mind, and strength…
We will continue to see bizarre inconsistencies all around us. People will still eat their donuts on treadmills. The guy with the “Pay It Forward” bumper sticker will cut you off on the 101. It is my hope that as often as I am struck by what a peculiar species we are, I am reminded of my own inconsistencies in order that by the grace of God I might clean out my own closets, throw out those idols most attractive to me, and commit that much more of my heart, soul, mind, and strength to the true and living God. How about you?