“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” (Jonah 2:8, NIV84)
When we decide to cling to worthless idols instead of following God-given directives, our lives can be shortened or destroyed. A self-driven life forfeits what possibly could have been a great future for the rubble of temporary pleasures.
This principle is demonstrated over and over in the Bible:
Esau traded his birthright for a bowl of stew.
Cain failed to conquer sin crouching at his door, killing Abel, and was “marked” for life.
Achan and his entire family were stoned to death because Achan disobeyed the Lord by taking and hiding silver in his tent when the Hebrews attacked the city of Ai as they entered the Promised Land.
Absalom shortened his life by rebelling against his father, King David, when he attempted to usurp the kingdom from David.
King Belshazzar, the last king of Babylon, had an untimely end to his kingdom. Daniel prophesied to King Belshazzar:
“…you have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven. You had the goblets from his temple brought to you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand. But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways. Therefore he sent the hand that wrote the inscription” (Daniel 5:23–24, NIV).
“’Here is what these words mean: Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting. Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians’” (Daniel 5:26–28, NIV).
That very night King Belshazzar was murdered.
Today, people do the same thing—trading their futures and forfeiting the grace of God, both in this world and the world to come—by devoting their lives to gaining and making idols of money, pleasure, power, and position.
We can see from the lives of these biblical characters that it is not worth it. This world in its present form is passing away, and SO ARE WE! Just look in the mirror in the morning!
A core principle for us to remember is: There is nothing in this world, no idol worth clinging to, worth sacrificing both our present and eternal futures.
Today, ask yourself:
Have I made an idol of anything, causing me to forfeit the operation of God’s grace in my life? If I have, is it worth it?