Many years ago, in a land far away, there was a people claimed by the Lord of Heaven’s Hosts. This people was rescued from misery and bondage, led out of a foreign land, and cared for even in the wilderness. The Creator moved in the lives of His people in amazing and miraculous ways. He created a dry channel in the midst of a wet and wild sea. The Lord led His people in a pillar of fire at night, and a pillar of cloud by day. There were appearances on the great mountain, and signs and wonders galore. Bread came from heaven, and quail from the skies.
There could be no doubt that the Lord of Heaven’s Hosts was God. His hand was clearly on His people. God even gave His people a leader – one to guide them and to mediate with the Lord for them.
One fine day, the Lord called his appointed leader to the mountain top for a conference. There, He instructed the leader on the manner in which His people should live.
This took days. The people became bored. What to do? The thundering God atop the mountain was obviously occupied. Their appointed leader was obviously not returning any time soon. Who to worship? Who to bow to? What to do?
The people chosen by the Lord of Heaven’s Hosts made a calf. They removed their earrings, and their bracelets, and they constructed their own god ~ an idol to bow before. They found something else to worship; another love to celebrate.
If you remember the rest of Exodus chapter 32, you know this story did not end well. Aaron, the brother of Moses (God’s appointed leader for the nation of Israel), told Moses the fault for the construction of the idol he created fell on the shoulders of first the evil-hearted Israelites, then upon the fire. “I threw the gold in and out popped this calf!” Really, Aaron? That’s the best you’ve got?
Long story shorter, God was not amused. He’s pretty clear that we are only to worship Him. People died. Their calf was destroyed.
Very recently, in a land not so very far away, there was a people claimed by the Lord of Heaven’s Hosts.
The people lived in the land the Lord had given them, waiting for the return of their leader – their Savior – the king of Heaven and Earth. God’s people knew that Jesus would soon return. They knew they were to be about their Father’s business. They knew they were to bow only to God.
The return of Jesus took days. Months. Years. God’s people became bored. What to do? Jesus was obviously occupied. Perhaps God was not paying attention. Who to worship? Who to bow to? What to do?
God’s people found their answer in a box. They hung it on a wall, plugged it in, and turned it on. Out came pictures and sound. Their minds were filled with the images of all things forbidden ~ sexual depravity, witchcraft and blasphemy ~ wrapped in a pretty one-hour package. The images flickered on and on, and God’s chosen people fed their offerings to the box. They gave it their time, their allegiance, and their original thoughts. They bowed down and worshiped, rejoicing in the god they had created.
From the mountain top, the Father and His Son watched. From within the hearts of His chosen, the Holy Spirit dwelled among the images of idolatry and sin.
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According to a 2010 report on Daily Media Use Among Children and Teens from the Kaiser Family Foundation, children ages 8-18 spend an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes a day viewing and listening to media. If we subtract the time spent on music and audio files (because I think audio books and music can be very beneficial ~ depending on the content), we’re left with an average 5 hours and 7 minutes a day spent on TV, video games, movies, and computers.
Friends, that is a full time job.
What are we doing to our children? What are we filling their minds with? Are we sacrificing their very lives – their time, their creativity, their souls – before the god of entertainment? At what point will the people of the Lord of Heaven’s Hosts stand up and say, “No more! As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!”?
“Make sure the light you think you have is not actually darkness. If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.” Luke 11:35,36
What about you and your house? Whom will you choose to serve?
~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is a children’s writer with a love for God’s Word, history, wisdom and small people. Her work has appeared in magazines including Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr.; Upper Room Ministries’ Pockets and Devozine; CBH Ministries’ Keys for Kids, and Cobblestone Group’s FACES and Odyssey. Her work also appears in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Mothers and Daughters.