What Would You Give?
The lack of God infiltrating life or invading our space is essentially why most of us have problems with idolatry. When God is seen as an appendage rather than the Person that should consume our lives, we will always struggle with keeping Him first. It’s not rocket science to understand that when God gave the great leader Moses the Ten Commandments, the first ones deal with the subject of idolatry. In fact, he literally spells out what he means in the 2nd command because he wanted them to comprehend the depth of meaning.
“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20:4)
God understood that if the Israelites could live out the first two commandments, then the rest of them would be a piece of cake. Please notice the seriousness of idolatry. God was very specific and harsh when it comes to putting things before Him. He used a very strong word to express His disgust, jealous. Yet how easy is it for us to exalt things in the place of God! It should almost strike fear in us to see how much we allow what we want to assume God’s place on throne. Jesus expressed these same commands again in the New Testament because a vital relationship with God is paramount to our success as Christians. What should we give in exchange for a relationship with the Savior? Is there a scale or measure of which we could gauge how much a relationship of this magnitude can be valued? Can all of the resources in the world combined equate? There is really no amount that we could offer. There’s a story in the bible about a woman named Mary who was ridiculed because of the place that Jesus held in her heart. In this passage, Mary brought some expensive ointment to the savior and spilled it onto his body to represent how much she loved and adored him. In Mark 14:5, the Bible says that the ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii. A denarius was a day’s wage for labor. “The value of the perfume (three hundred denarii) represented a year’s wages for a working man.” One year of a man’s wages given away in an instant is almost too difficult to imagine. As you can expect, these were not rich people. Would you sacrifice one year of your wages? To have something this precious was already incredible. However, to take a commodity this valuable and waste it in a moment speaks of either craziness or profound love. “Mary anoints Jesus…thereby displaying sacrificial love for him—the only kind of any value.” The only thing that we can offer God that’s of any value to him is our sacrificial love, our dedication, our worship; our entire lives. Mary literally gave everything she had in that second to make sure that Jesus was honored.