I LOVE spending time with my 3 year old niece. Our personalities are very similar!!! In her "all serious" personality she says the funniest things and reminds me to not take myself so seriously.
At least once or twice a week she comes out to my parents which is just over the hill from my house. As she has grown up my chocolate lab has always been around and she has become enamored with it. When the dog arrives the 3 yr old becomes the perfect hostess. Picture a 1950's socialite....
Over the last few months I have been watching my niece fetch a bowl of fresh water, a handful of Cheez-its, and place all of the "favored toys" of the day at my dog's feet. If there is food and water involved than the dog rewards her with a sloppy kiss which sends her into squeals and giggles!
However, sometimes the 3 yr old does not have the food and water at her disposal so she just brings the toys as an offering. On those occasions the dog might acknowledge her efforts but usually stares off in indifference as a cold statue might. As I was watching today it struck me that this scene between my dog and my niece was very similar to passages I've been reading when the Philistines would bring their best offerings to the feet of Dagon, a cold statue. Thousands of years ago these people considered a man-made idol as their God. Dagon who was made out of either stone, wood, or metal also stared off in indifference when the loyal subjects presented their sacrifices.
In 1 Samuel 5 Dagon's true power was demonstrated when face to face with the Living God. As I was pondering all this it made me wonder how often am I barking up the wrong tree with my affections? Yes, pun intended!!! Seriously though, just like my niece I will sacrifice my time, my money, and my attention for many things that I am enamored with. Are my sacrifices pleasing my God or just falling short for some man-made idol?
And if this insight wasn't firmly planted yet then God wanted to make it clear the next day. My daily reading schedule landed me in 1st John 5:21 which says "Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen." Not only is it plainly stated but followed with 'Amen' which is a Hebrew word that means 'firm, sure'. As my dad would put it "I mean business"....which literally doesn't make sense. However when dad said that you knew it was time to do as told and no questions asked or there would be DIRE consequences! I am sensing that's God's take on this matter too!
So now I need to watch for the teachable moment to explain this to a 3 year old. Prayers are appreciated!