“Covetousness, which is idolatry”
Today we read the last two chapters of Colossians – and also the last two in Deuteronomy which feature Moses final words – and then God buried him, his work for God was completed.
Paul is in chains, as the last verse of this epistle tells us, yet
“the word of God is not bound!” (2 Timothy 2:9)
and in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in we should seek to speak or write (and there are various ways of ‘writing’ these days) to express encouragement, thankfulness, or warning to others. What examples Paul gives us!
First, we must take his words as a message to us personally – only when we have done that can we be in the right frame of mind – to give words or messages of advice to others. What inspiration Colossians 3 puts into our minds,
“When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (verse 4).
Our reaction to this expectation Paul says in the next verse should be to
“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry”.
Our world is full of covetousness, nearly all the advertising that constantly meets us, using so many forms of media, is designed to encourage us to do this or that to satisfy our fleshly inclinations – and to make us sort of proud about owning or doing something.
The very next words of Paul after saying “covetousness … is idolatry” is to state
“On account of these the wrath of God is coming”.
This creates awe in the minds of those who know God’s word, it is so applicable to our world today! We can say with Isaiah, as we read today,
“I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips” (6:5)
and this can make us feel “unclean” unless, as with Isaiah,
“… your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for” (verse 7).
Isaiah was given a vision of the future, he hears and sees a seraphim calling,
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (verse 3).
All sense of idolatry (i.e., covetousness) will vanish away in that day – may you and I, by the grace of God, be there.