Friday, August 31, 2012

We Become What We Worship

"Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands.
They have mouths, but do not speak;
eyes, but do not see. 
They have ears, but do not hear;
noses, but do not smell.
They have hands, but do not feel;
feet, but do not walk;
and they do not make a sound in their throat.
Those who make them become like them;
so do all who trust in them. 
O Israel, trust in the LORD!"
Psalm 115: 4-9

"It is a fundamental truth of Scripture that we become like whatever or whomever we worship. When Israel worshipped the gods of the nations, she became like the nations-bloodthirsty, oppressive, full of deceit and violence. Romans 1 confirms this principle by showing how idolaters are delivered over to sexual deviations and eventually to social and moral chaos. The same dynamic is at work today. Muslims worship Allah, a power rather than a person, and their politics reflect this commitment. Western humanists worship man with the result of degrading every whim of the human heart is honored and exalted and disseminated through the organs of mass media. Along these lines, Psalm 115:4-8 throws brilliant light on Old Covenant history and the significance of jesus' ministry. After describing idols as figures that have every organ of sense but not sense, the Psalmist writes, 'Those who make them will become like them, everyone who trusts in them.' By worshipping idols, human beings become speechless, blind, deaf, unfeeling, and crippled-but then these are precisely the afflictions that Jesus, in the Gospels, came to heal!"

Peter Leithart, "Transforming Worship," Foundations 38 (Spring 1997): 27. 

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