Modern Milcoms

Jesus Christ is either Lord of all my life or He is not Lord at all in my life.

Jesus either dictates every aspect of my life here on earth, or He doesn’t. In regards to lordship, there is no middle ground. I can’t give God my mornings in the Word and then refuse to seek His counsel in regards to finances, health, work, and play. I can’t claim that my life is a blank check on which God can call me to sacrifice in whatever way He sees fit and then respond with complaining and grumbling when what He’s calling me to doesn’t fit with my preconceived notions and plans.

Jesus Christ is either Lord of all my life or He is not Lord at all in my life.

The last couple days I’ve been super fascinated with the book of Zephaniah. This book paints a picture of God’s majesty and power that does truly produce a fear of God in me. God proclaims His ability to destroy everything on earth, but instead of enacting His just wrath, He extends mercy to those who humbly seek Him. As I was simply studying some of the details surrounding this short book, a passage in the first chapter struck me.

“I will stretch out my hand against Judah and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off from this place the remnant of Baal and the name of the idolatrous priests along with the priests, those who bow down on the roofs to the host of the heavens, those who bow down and swear to the Lord and yet swear by Milcom, those who have turned back from following the Lord, who do not seek the Lord or inquire of him.” – Zephaniah 1:4-6

Wow. God’s anger was burning against His people. His people were deserving of wrath. What they were doing was submitting to the Lord by bowing down to Him. Yet they didn’t just bow down to Him and Him alone. Instead they chose to worship and bow down to the stars and to Milcom.

In the time of Zephaniah’s prophecy, Milcom was the national god of the Ammonites. This god was often worshiped via the practice of infant sacrifices. It was a deplorable practice and it was apparently being at least permitted by these people of God who chose to bow down to not just the Lord alone but also to the deities of the surrounding nations. It was as if God’s people were hedging their bets. It was as if God’s people were making sure that if God truly wasn’t in complete control then at least they will have appeased these other ‘gods’ that might in fact be real.

Reading this elicits in me a quick reaction of judgment. I look at the inhabitants of Jerusalem at the time of Zephaniah’s writing and think how in the world can you guys be so stupid. God has spoken to you countless times, proven His miraculous power left and right, and yet you all struggle with making Him Lord over all in your lives.

Then I take a real hard look in the mirror.

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There are modern-day idols all around us.

There are modern-day Milcoms. There are cultural idols that I can worship too. I’ve heard countless people say that usually what you’re thinking about at the very start of the day and the very end of the day is what you worship. Ouch. There are so many things that I worship besides just the Lord. To use the terminology of the passage here in Zephaniah, I ‘bow down’ to countless cultural idols.

I bow down to the need to be right in arguments. I bow down to the need to have complete comfort. I bow down to my finances as the dictators of how I give and how I live. I bow down to the obsession of having a relationship that is admired by others. I bow down to loving my neighbor without sharing with them the offensive truths of the gospel. I bow down to my wants. I bow down to wanting to make a name for myself that people will remember. I bow down to social media. I bow down to how social media says that I should live. I bow down to family. I bow down to friends. I bow down to the status quo.

The list could go on and on. We struggle to truly submit to Jesus’ lordship over our lives. Instead we allow countless other things to dictate how we live.

Jesus Christ is either Lord of all my life or He is not Lord at all in my life.

I pray that this blog post doesn’t drive anyone into feelings of condemnation. I pray instead that this blog post drives all of us into a convicting understanding of how we can better submit to Jesus as Lord in all aspects of our lives.

There is hope. Gospel hope. Hope in Christ.

Zephaniah chapter three shows us the hope.

On that day you shall not be put to shame because of the deeds by which you have rebelled against me; for then I will remove from your midst your proudly exultant ones, and you shall no longer be haughty in my holy mountain. But I will leave in your midst a people humble and lowly. They shall seek refuge in the name of the Lord. – Zephaniah 3:11-12

The book of Zephaniah is filled with the promise that if we humble ourselves before God, He will show mercy.

Jesus Christ paid the penalty for all of our sins, even the sin of not submitting to Jesus as Lord. So if you’re struggling with submitting all of your life to God, know that God is waiting with open arms to receive you and cleanse you of your pride (the worship of idols is ultimately a pride issue because we create gods that submit to us).

In the coming year, allow Jesus to be the Lord of all in your life.

He is worthy of your worship.

In His Name,

Nate Roach

I appreciate any and all feedback and you can follow my blog via the menu.

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