Along with the basic needs for life, food, shelter, safety, there’s another basic need we don’t realize we desire to have – to worship. Not only do we have the need for safety, we want to belong and be loved by something greater than ourselves. We begin by looking towards our parents, a trust-worthy adult, a grandparent for our greatest love. As we grow, we develop our ideas about the world and our individual and collective purpose. We want good things to happen and protection from the bad things. Throughout the ages, cultures developed gods whom they could attribute the good and bad. Whether they needed someone to believe in or someone to blame, gods of different degrees were created.
It doesn’t seem as noticeable these days with so many things to occupy our mind, time and hands, but it was a part of their nature and culture to pray and sacrifice to ‘something’. God’s chosen people, like us, were impatient and distracted by gossip and self-importance. While Moses was on Mount Sinai talking to the Living God, his people down below became distracted and worrisome about themselves. They quickly forgot the amazing miracles they witnessed by escaping Egypt, the Red Sea parting in two and being fed by God daily. Thinking that Moses wasn’t going to return, the Israelites bullied Aaron into ‘making them gods to go before us because they didn’t know what happened to Moses’ (Acts 7:40). They brought sacrifices to this thing and were proud of what they had made. Every idol we make, create or imagine involves our selfish needs and desires. Only when we worship a Holy God, do we see and feel the surrender of ourselves and total freedom of true worship. We worship because we have favor and acceptance from a Holy God who thinks so highly of us, His creation, that He spends time with us. I cannot fathom wanting to worship an object, like a calf or Buddha, who while they may be shiny and have a personal connection, can do absolutely Nothing for you. It is a religion and ritualistic duty, which is not the case with God. He doesn’t want our rituals or ‘going through the motions’. He wants a relationship with His beloved child. It is the best of all relationships, because God by His very nature can NEVER let you down nor disappoint. We need to desire to worship a relationship like this one!