Pleasure and pain

By Dave Henning / June 19, 2013

Part 2 of Pastor Kyle Idleman’s book Gods at War begins with an introduction in which he discusses the place of pleasure in modern life.  The author notes that today pleasure comes close to being the whole theme of daily living.  Much more than our ancestors, we expect our daily work to be pleasurable.  As Pastor Idleman humorously adds, no one in an agrarian society would say: “Know what?  Plowing and tending cattle aren’t enough for me.”

In our modern society, the author asserts, we often spend whatever free time we have chasing pleasure.  However, when we begin to worship pleasure, the end result is always pain.  Pastor Idleman states that “inside the temple of pleasure gifts are turned into gods.”  And it is in the very areas where we lift up false gods that God will withhold His blessing.

A prime Biblical example is the account of Elijah and Queen Jezebel, found in 1 Kings 17.  When Jezebel set up an altar and temple to Baal in Samaria, God sent Elijah to King Ahab to tell him there would be no dew or rain in the land except at His word.  Since weather was Baal’s supposed area of expertise, it was the obvious way for God to get the attention of His unfaithful people.  It’s interesting to observe that when Elijah asks the people to make a commitment, they straddle the fence and say nothing, perhaps wanting to be sure that they had all their bases covered.

Kyle Idleman believes that same is true of us.  We too may say nothing when forced to choose between the Lord God and the gods of pleasure- because we want both.

Today’s question: Do you agree with Pastor Idleman that the god of pleasure has become a major idol in our culture?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Comfort food”

About the author

Dave Henning

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