The Seduction and Pain of Syncretism

February 12, 2014

“So they feared the LORD but also served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away”

2Kings 17:33

2Kings 17:35 says “The LORD made a covenant with them and commanded them, ‘You shall not fear other gods or bow yourselves to them or serve them or sacrifice to them.'” It isn’t that we don’t worship God. We do. Our problem is that often we have a personal pantheon of gods. These pantheons are fluid. One day the primary god I worship might be my child’s health, the next day it could be getting a bill paid, and the third day it could be my marriage. These are good things but they are not God. Because they are worthy desires, we are tempted to worship them by believing that they will bring delight to our lives. This magnifies our idols and minimizes God.

While we’re bowing to these other gods, we are paying lip service to the LORD. Because of this intellectual commitment to God we often don’t sense the emotional commitment to our idols. So often our emotional misery in life is tied to the fact that we’re worshiping idols that either can’t do anything for us or gods that are evading us. You see, when God isn’t the only god of my life, when I’m not getting what I want, unhappiness and misery are sure to follow. Our idols are always cruel. Psalm 37:4 is truth we need to get into our hearts: “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” The LORD is our only sure thing in life. Because of this, anything else we delight in is sure to disappoint. What god are you running after today?

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2 Responses to “The Seduction and Pain of Syncretism”


  1. Sometimes my idol is truth. I run after truth and step on people to get them to change. God is teaching me to have grace along with the truth.


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