These difficulties . . .

(by Joseph Philpot)

"From all your idols will I cleanse you." Ezekiel 36:25

When there are no crosses, temptations, or trials,
a man is sure to go out after and cleave to idols.

It matters not what experience he has had. If once he
ceases to be plagued and tried, he will be setting up
his household gods in the secret chambers of his heart.

Profit or pleasure, self indulgence or self gratification,
will surely, in one form or another, engross his thoughts,
and steal away his heart.

Nor is there anything too trifling or insignificant to
become an idol. Whatever is meditated on preferably
to God, whatever is desired more than He, whatever
more interests us, pleases us, occupies our waking
hours, or is more constantly in our mind, becomes
an idol, and a source of sin.

It is not the magnitude of the idol, but its existence
as an object of worship, that constitutes idolatry. I have
seen some 'Burmese idols' not much larger than my hand;
and I have seen some 'Egyptian idols' weighing many tons.
But both were equally idols, and the comparative size had
nothing to do with the question.

So spiritually, an idol is not to be measured by its size;
its relative importance or non importance. A flower may
be as much an idol to one man, as a chest full of gold to

If you watch your heart, you will see idols rising and setting
all day long, nearly as thickly as the stars by night.

But God sends . . .
to pull down these idols, or rather
to pull away our hearts from them.

These difficulties . . .
  pull us out of fleshly ease,
  make us cry for mercy,
  pull down all rotten props,
  hunt us out of false refuges, and
  strip us of vain hopes and delusive expectations.