The “Power” of False Gods

The book of Judges covers a period of approximately 400 years after the death of Joshua. It is a period of time where God records His people in periods of obedience and disobedience. God warned His people not to follow the gods of the original inhabitants of the promised land. God had defeated those gods and shown them to be powerless, nevertheless, God’s people began to follow them. This got me to think about the following question: “What is the “power” of false gods?”

I understand the power of the real God. If God exists then we would expect Him to be powerful. He is the creator. He can bend the laws of this natural world to do whatever He desires. I understand that. But if other gods are false then by definition they don’t have any power. I think there are two answers to this question. First, there can be some power demonstrated through the power of Satan. Satan has the ability to do miraculous things as well and I suppose that sometimes he can use that power under the guise of false gods. But we don’t read about that very much in the Bible. However, demonic possession can certainly look like “gods” doing things to people. I think the real power of false gods is linked to the selfish desires of the human heart. People use these “gods” to approve and provide their own selfish lusts and desires. We attribute power to them when in fact, we are doing the actions ourselves. And then we bend these gods to serve our own plans and agendas.

I think that the power of false gods lives in us. At least this is what I see in the book of Judges. I encourage you to examine your own heart to see if you are giving rise to any false gods in your life. I think you have the God-given ability to turn off their power.


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