Psalm 97

The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad;
let the distant shores rejoice.
Clouds and thick darkness surround him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire goes before him
and consumes his foes on every side.
His lightning lights up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
and all peoples see his glory.
All who worship images are put to shame,
those who boast in idols —
worship him, all you gods!
Zion hears and rejoices
and the villages of Judah are glad
because of your judgments, LORD.
For you, LORD, are the Most High over all the earth;
you are exalted far above all gods.
Let those who love the LORD hate evil,
for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
Light shines on the righteous
and joy on the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the LORD, you who are righteous,
and praise his holy name.

David begins this psalm by declaring, "The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice." We are instantly reminded that God is the supreme ruler of the universe. Despite this, humanity has struggled with idolatry throughout history.

We often imagine idols to be statues of false gods. However, idolatry is the worship or excessive devotion to ANYTHING other than the one true God. It takes many forms today, from tangible images to intangible desires that consume our hearts.

Our culture tempts us with idols of money, fame, relationships, and success, promising fulfillment but delivering emptiness. The psalmist says that those who worship idols are "put to shame." We must recognize and reject anything that takes precedence over God in our lives.

Jesus emphasized the need to prioritize God above all else, saying, "No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other" (Matthew 6:24).

Although Jesus spoke in the context of greed, we can have hundreds of other masters we place over and above God. Material possessions and wealth, social media and technology, work and career, relationships and love, beauty and appearance, entertainment and leisure, personal achievements and recognition, food and indulgence, nationalism and patriotism, new age spirituality, and self-help — an obsession or excessive indulgence in these things make them idols.

We must choose God, especially because of the eternal ramifications we face. The psalmist offers the ideal antidote to idolatry. It is wholehearted worship of the one true God. When we fix our eyes on him and his greatness, our hearts find satisfaction in his presence. True worship helps us put God above all else, eradicating the hold of idols in our lives.

God bless you.

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