I learned that term BAE from my millennial daughter. It’s an acronym representing the phrase, Before Anything Else. And it’s a good phrase to use when doing a little self-assessment on the topic of idolatry.
As followers of Christ living in the 21st-century western world, we may assume idolatry is one sin we can cross off the list – we may readily acknowledge struggles with envy, pride, gluttony, etc, but since our home is free of statues and we don’t make trips to bow to graven images, we are okay – right? Perhaps not.
In our study in I Samuel 5, the Ark of the Covenant is captured by the Philistines. They haul it into the temple of their god, Dagon. The inference, of course, is that the God of Israel (represented by the Ark of the Covenant) is inferior to their man-made god. The first morning their false god is found fallen on his face. The next morning he has fallen again and his head and hands broken off. Subsequently, disease and devastation come to the Philistines. They play the game “hot potato” – passing the Ark on to other Philistines cities before finally returning it to the Israelites.
But they never consider the obvious: the God of Israel is the true God.
Merriam-Webster.com defines an idol as “an object of extreme devotion.” Nancy Collins says an idol is “anything that is loved or revered more than God.”
Keeping those two definitions in mind, what is your BAE? Is there anything in your life that is an object of extreme devotion or is loved or revered more than God?
In this week’s teaching, we borrowed from the game show Family Feud to complete these three statements:
- I never leave the house without _____________.
- When I’m happy (or sad or angry or hurt), I __________.
- The one thing I never miss is ___________.
We offered some possible “survey says” answers to prod us to consider the possibility that we do indeed struggle with idolatry issues.
Matthew 6: 21 says: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Can you honestly say that you treasure God– that you treasure His Word?
There is nothing inherently wrong with vacations and shoes and family time and even money – but are those good things usurping the best thing? Is God alone the object of our extreme devotion? Can we declare that there is nothing or no one else in our lives that is loved or revered more than God?
Is He our treasure? Does He have our hearts
Watch Laura’s teaching video here.