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Today's Devotional

Throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the Lord. Joshua 24:23

The men in the Bible study group were nearly eighty years old, so I was surprised to learn they struggled with lust. A battle that had begun in their youth lingered still. Each day they pledged to follow Jesus in this area and asked forgiveness for the moments they failed.

It may surprise us that godly men still fight against base temptations at a late stage in life, but maybe it shouldn’t. An idol is anything that threatens to take the place of God in our lives, and such things can show up long after we assume they’re gone.

In the Bible, Jacob had been rescued from his uncle Laban and his brother Esau. He was returning to Bethel to worship God and celebrate His many blessings, yet his family still kept foreign gods that Jacob had to bury (Genesis 35:2-4). At the end of the book of Joshua, after Israel had defeated their enemies and settled in Canaan, Joshua still had to urge them to “throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the Lord” (Joshua 24:23). And King David’s wife Michal apparently kept idols, for she put one in his bed to deceive the soldiers who came to kill him (1 Samuel 19:11-16).

Idols are more common than we think, and God is more patient than we deserve. Temptations to turn to them will come, but God’s forgiveness is greater. May we be set apart for Jesus—turning from our sins and finding forgiveness in Him.

What sin are you most tempted by? What steps might you take to destroy this idol?

Father, I confess my sin, and I gratefully receive Your forgiveness through Jesus.


In the Old Testament, idolatry was rampant in Israel. This was one of the primary things God warned the Israelites about before they were brought to their new homeland, for the surrounding nations were deep into idol worship: “Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. . . . Do not make any idols” (Exodus 34:14, 17; see Leviticus 19:4). Included among those idols were Asherim (also known as Astarte), Baal (a weather god), Dagon (half-fish, half-man), and many more. Years after Israel entered the land of promise, Isaiah offered great insight about idols: “[The carpenter] makes a god, his idol; he bows down to it and worships. He prays to it and says, ‘Save me! You are my god!’ They know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand” (Isaiah 44:17-18). Such strong words show the folly of idol worship.

By |2024-06-08T02:33:06-04:00June 8th, 2024|
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