I’ve most recently read a most PROFOUND book on “idols”. In the book, it talks about how idols are NOT JUST “statues” and “figurines”…..they can be SO MUCH MORE! 

Think back to the time of the Old Testament when there were a set of twins by the names of Jacob & Esau. Esau was the oldest of the two and back in those days (ancient, biblical times), the oldest son got most (if not all) of the father’s property when the father died, ALONG with what’s known as *the patriarchal blessing*.

It was custom back in those days that when a father died, the oldest son would “inherit” the most (if not all). This was known as his “birthright”. But RIGHT BEFORE the father died, it was custom for the father to BESTOW (that means, to give) his “personal blessing” upon the oldest son. While any consequent younger son could ALSO get some sort of “blessing”, it was always typically MUCH LESSER in degree, in comparison with what type of “patriarchal blessing” the OLDEST son would get. 

Esau was a hunter of the fields, while Jacob was more of a “homely” sheep-herder that preferred to stay at home in the camp. One day, while Esau was out hunting, Jacob cooked up some soup. And when Esau came home from his daily hunt, the SMELL of that soup must’ve been (in Esau’s nostrils, atleast) “heavenly”. He asked Jacob for some of that soup. But Jacob was clever. He said if Esau SOLD HIM HIS BIRTHRIGHT, he, Jacob, would then give him some of the soup.

Esau obliged (in other words, Esau agreed to it). And later on in the biblical narrative, we see how that plays out and how Esau is ALSO “tricked” out of his patriarchal blessing as well (or could it have been God’s wrath upon Esau for being so “careless” over his “birthright”, to begin with?) 

But the point I’m trying to make is THIS: WHEN Esau SOLD HIS BIRTHRIGHT for a “measly bowl of soup”, he, in effect, was likened unto one who SOLD HIS SOUL for a “measly portion”. That’s all idols are, really. A “measly portion”. Breadcrumbs! They SEEM enticing and thrilling at first glance. But on the inside, they are hallow shells; SPIRITUALLY EMPTY.

And the more of these “empty idols” we have, the more we “need” in order to try to sustain ourselves. We’re like birds, chasing after, picking up and eating one “breadcrumb idol” after another. They can’t talk, move, see or hear. So what ABOUT them seems SO appealing to us? The following book attempts to answer those questions for us IN DETAIL:

NO OTHER GODS BOOK

Therefore, what was Esau’s “idol” in that case? It was FOOD!

“And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?Genesis 25:32

Genesis 25:33 goes on to say that Jacob demanded that Esau SELL his “birthright” to him. SELL IT. Think about what that MEANS, folks! And the end of the passage says that Esau DID sell it. 

“And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob” – Genesis 25:33

I guess it’s really no wonder then when we read in Romans 9:13 in the NEW TESTAMENT: “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated“.

Now…….if people reading the New Testament read that Romans 9:13 passage, WITHOUT ever even HAVING read the Old Testament, that can, at first glance, seem like a statement of “pure hatred”. But what that passage is REALLY saying (in context) is that Jesus loved the HEART of Jacob (which was set on “spiritual things”) but despised the HEART of Esau (who was stuck on “worldly/fleshly things” – like food).

Another good biblical dichotomy (in other words, comparison) is the difference between Ishmael & Isaac. God promised Abraham and Sarah a child in their old age. They waited some time and nothing happened. So they got a little “antsy” (or atleast Sarah did, anyways). Sarah decided she didn’t want to wait anymore and told Abraham to marry her slave girl, Hagar, so that Sarah might have a child THROUGH her. Abraham obeyed. Hagar had a child and his name was *Ishmael*. 

However, when Ishmael was in his early teens, Sarah DID conceive and have a child, whose name was Isaac. The book up above I read suggested that Abraham likely thought (at first, anyways) that Ishmael was the “promised heir” [because remember how, in ancient biblical times, special blessings always went to the oldest son?] but instead, it was, according to the bible, Isaac.

However, there’s also one DISTINCTION, here. Ishmael was born from a “concubine”/”slave woman” while Isaac was born of a WIFE! That makes all the difference in the world, here and is also why God’s covenant was with ISAAC, instead of Ishmael.

Now…..are there any OTHER cases in the bible where the YOUNGEST/YOUNGER son ended up getting a BIGGER “patriarchal blessing” than the OLDEST? Yes. We find that in Genesis 48:17-20…..In THIS passage, Jacob is VERY OLD in age, with all his sons (and 2 grandsons by his son Joseph) standing around him. 

Now remember, back in those days, it was typical for the oldest son to get a MUCH BIGGER blessing than any of the younger son(s). Manasseh was Joseph’s oldest son, while Ephraim was his youngest son. Joseph wanted his father Jacob to put his patriarchal blessing on his OLDEST son, Manasseh and placed his hands accordingly. But instead, Jacob did just the OPPOSITE……….He crossed his hands and blessed the YOUNGER SON, EPHRAIM, instead. 

Manasseh’s name means “causing to forget” while Ephraim’s name means “fruitful” or “causing to be fruitful”. So perhaps that has something to do with WHY the younger son was blessed over the older one. 

I’ve written ONE previous post on the subject of idols, from a slighly different angle: https://yeshua777.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/idols-in-modern-day-society/

And ya know, it’s funny. I’ve always known and REALIZED that idols don’t necessarily have to be statues or figurines. But until I saw the FULL list of what they could be (even people and “relationships”), I was never really able to put it into full scope. Therefore, that book was an EYE-OPENING book for me and I’d HIGHLY recommend it. It also comes with a BIBLE STUDY GUIDE as well. 

But in closing, I’d just like to ask: What type of idols do you have in your life? Are/were you even aware that you had them? And do you realize that idols are like “breadcrumbs”….promising spiritual nourishment but NEVER fulfilling it? And are you willing to learn to relinquish “breadcrumb idols” for the sake of a closer and COMPLETE spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ?

If you answered yes to the last question, I’d HIGHLY recommend the “No Other Gods” paperback book (easier for highlighting important passages), along with the “No Other God Bible Study Guide”. And remember: strive for Jesus, NOT “BREADCRUMBS”.

NO OTHER GODS BIBLE STUDY

 

Advertisements