“They exchanged the glory of God for the image of an ox that eats grass. They forgot God, their Savior, who had done great things in Egypt, wondrous works in the land of Ham, and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.” Psalm 106:20-22
Really, an ox that eats grass was chosen to worship over the Almighty God?! I feel like our psalmist was trying to make it seem as ridiculous as possible. He could have said,
“They exchanged the glory of God for the image of…
-an eagle that soars.”
-a bear that hibernates.”
-a fish that swims upstream.”
Why chose to compare God to an ox… that eats grass? Even “an ox that stands strong” would have sounded better, even more poetic. I believe the psalmist was trying to let us see just how ridiculous it is for us to choose anything above God. Even despite saving the Israelites from bondage to the Egyptians, parting the Red Sea to escape their enemy’s chase, providing manna in the desert, and leading them daily with cloud and fire, the Israelites continuously chose to worship other images. “An ox that eats grass” has not done and will never do something of value that could come close to comparing the acts of salvation and provision God has demonstrated.
Neither has that girlfriend, new car, iPhone, or Netflix account.
What have I too often exchanged the glory of God for?
Nothing the world has to offer should ever be placed before God. Exchanging the glory of God, even for a moment, for a husband, paycheck, saturday afternoon, or college decision is as ridiculous as building a statue of “an ox that eats grass” in your backyard and worshiping it each Sunday morning instead of going to church.
What have you exchanged the glory of God for?
I love that no matter how many times the Israelites chose something else to praise, God’s “steadfast love endures forever.” (Psalm 107:1) Let us embrace redemption and change. Let us burn images in our hearts that are competing with God. Let us instead worship Him with every aspect of our lives. He deserves praise in our relationships and how we spend our time and money.
Let us “exchange the glory of God for” NOTHING.