So, I have a confession. I got a little overzealous about Tenth Avenue North’s new album called Cathedrals. One of the reasons I love TAN is because they focus on Jesus, and not the hype of being a band. At their shows, I’d be totally okay with just listening to them talk about Jesus, even though their music is fantastic. They are amazing at pulling scripture and using it for their music. Here’s the problem: Even thought Tenth Avenue North is honoring God with their music, they are not God. It’s not not their fault I paid too much attention to their album. It’s mine. Without realizing it, I let this be an idol for me. In today’s society, we turn so many things into idols. An idol is simply anything we put above God in our lives.Did I pray to TAN? No, of course not. Did I get really excited to tell people about their great new album? Did I work it into conversations with people? Did I drive to 4 different stores in order to find the stinking CD? Yes, yes, and yes.
I wish I got as excited to read my Bible as I did to listen to the songs I haven’t heard. I wish I would have focused on telling those who needed it about God’s hope and promises. Psalm 106: 19-21 tells the story of the Israelites and their issue with idols”
19They made a calf at Horeb,
bowing down to a metal idol.
20 They traded their glorious God
for an image of a bull that eats grass.
21 They forgot the God who saved them—
the one who had done great things in Egypt.
While slaves in Egypt, the Israelites were surrounded by the religions of the locals. This meant idols were everywhere. People who bowed to statues and worshiped animals as gods. When God sent Moses to free them from slavery, they returned to praising the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They saw God physically make a path for them when the sea split and they walked across dry land. Then, the wandered in the Wilderness. They got frustrated and afraid God would no longer provide; so, they went back to their old habits from their past. They used their jewels to make the shape of a calf, a simple animal that eats plants. They bowed to this statue instead of trusting a God who had a track record of coming to their rescue. The Common English Bible translation I quoted above says “They forgot the God who saved them.” Ouch. That’s what our teen ministry would call a #JesusJuke. Think about the plagues of the Passover story. God performed those miracles through Moses to save them from their current situation. How could they forget that? Then, they make a statue and pray to it. What were they thinking? How often do we return to our past out of fear, even when we know God has provided? We forget how God has been faithful in our lives, and we go back to worthless things we know won’t satisfy. When it’s all over, we say to ourselves: “What was I thinking?”
So where do I go from here? I’m getting #BackToTheBook. I’m going to take the thing I put above God, and put God back where He belongs– at the top. I’m going to take each song from Tenth Avenue North’s new album, and bring it back to the source, the Bible. I know they have a devotional app that is doing basically the same thing, but I’m choosing not to cheat. I’m going to do it on my own, and then I’ll compare notes to see what they came up with. Here’s to putting God back on the throne.