More than a Mantelpiece God!


Do you really expect God to do something today? I mean really do something?

During the Old Testament times of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the gods of the surrounding nations were idols, often passed down from generation to generation. You might call them mantelpiece gods. They sat in a prominent place of the home, showcasing that the people had a god in their lives. However, those gods never did anything. They just sat there.

Do we, in 2016, live any differently? This past series of blogposts has highlighted many facets of the Gospel gemstone—the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Yet, a very important question must be asked: Do we really expect God to do something in our world? 

Do we put the full weight of our hope in the Gospel and its ramifications for today? Or do we treat God as if He’s merely a mantelpiece god? You know, it’s a good luck charm that we rub periodically or pull down from the mantel when circumstances are not going our way. (Ouch.)

Read through the Scriptures. Throughout history, God’s #1 complaint regarding His people is that they/we so easily forgot His power and ability to sovereignly actHow often do we go on to depend on other things rather than putting our hope squarely on the Gospel?

The prophets of the Old Testament told Israel that they were adulteresses, a people who had forgotten God’s past redemptive activity, idolaters who put hope in many gods.

Jesus confronted the religious leaders of the day, telling them that they were letting go of the commands of God and were holding on to traditions of men.

They had lost direction. Subtly, they had were no longer expecting God to act and manifest Himself with good news, but were putting their hope in other things or in their own duty-based smarts and goodness. Do we ever do the same?

Isaiah said to God’s people:

“Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,
who rely on horses,
who trust in the multitude of their chariots
and in the great strength of their horsemen,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel,
or seek help from the Lord” (Isaiah 31:1 NIV).

On top of their idolatry, God’s people in the Old Testament didn’t always have the multifaceted gem of the Gospel to put their trust in. But we do! We have the hope of redemption in Christ’s blood and the power of Christ in us, the hope of glory! When we put our trust in other things we miss the opportunity to live a life portrayed by power and the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Where are we putting our hope today? Have we relegated Jesus and the Gospel of Christ to a place on the mantel—a dusty talisman that we rub periodically to get what we want? Or is the Gospel of Jesus Christ our empowering hope every minute of every day?

Leave a Reply