An Adulterous Heart




God made a man. Then I made that man into an idol.

I didn’t melt down gold and bow before a gleaming calf. There were no cultish practices or pagan sacrifices. The truth is that idolatry looks nothing like what I thought. The idols I’ve seen are made of gold and stone — created by man, incapable of speech, unworthy of devotion.

They could not save the people who worshipped them. They offered no warmth or affection.

They were lifeless.

Yet the idol I worship is beautifully alive. He is strong, active, and vibrant. He responds when I come to him and offers affection when I seek it. It is natural — easy, even — to give my heart in complete adoration. You see, my idol loves me.

But just like the golden calves of old, he cannot save me. When I face trials and tribulations, the magic is stripped away. I see that my idol is made of flesh and bones. He is something between the inanimate statues of the Old Testament and the deity I have foolishly created in my mind. He is human.

I have read the stories of idol worship; they unfold across all of Scripture. I’ve seen God’s warnings, observed the consequences, and witnessed each idol’s inability to rescue its worshippers. I know the facts. While idols may have power over people, they are by no means powerful enough to save them.

So yes, my idol is different than I expected. It makes it easier to ignore and to justify, but the truth remains: I have given my heart to a created being rather than the Creator. In my mind, I have transformed a fellow child of God into a god of my own.

It is incredibly humbling to realize I’ve fallen into the same sin as the Israelites. I grew up with the tales of Baal, golden calves, and Egypt’s false gods — never realizing that I am just like the idol worshippers of old. I am the prodigal son. I am the unfaithful wife, the Gomer of the 21st century.


Maybe your idol looks different than mine. It could be your child or your parents.  It could be your intelligence, your reputation, or your bank account. One thing I know for sure: if you take a painfully honest look at yourself, you will find one.

Amazingly, there is still hope for us. In the darkness of our sin, God’s mercy shines through. Even before He created us, He knew we would fail Him. But still, He chose to give our adulterous hearts the gift of redemption and restoration. He chose to save us.

May the one true God be praised — and Him alone.

“They shall not defile themselves any more with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions. But I will save them from all the backslidings in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God” (Ezekiel 37:23).



Sincerely KindredComment