Post last updated on February 20, 2024
Image credit: RAH
This brief quotation is taken from the sermon, The Wonderful Tree, preached by Geerhardus Vos and contained in a collection of his sermons, published by the Banner of Truth Trust.1Geerhardus Vos, “The Wonderful Tree,” in Grace and Glory (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2000), 16. The sermon depends upon Hosea 14:8 and Hosea is the prophet cited below. The Old Testament temple worship is initially referenced to distinguish between true and false forms of worship, thus pointing the reader to the object of his worship—God himself.
Man’s nature is so built that he must be religious either in a good or bad sense. Ill-religious he may be, but simply non-religious he cannot be. What he fails to bring into the temple of God, he is sure to set up on the outside, and not seldom at the very gate, as a rival object of worship. And often the more ostensibly spiritual and refined these thing are, the more potent and treacherous their lure. The modern man who seeks to save and perfect himself has a whole pantheon of ideals, each of them a veritable god sapping the vitals of his religion. No, the prophet goes even farther than this: Jehovah himself can be made an object of idolatry. If one fails to form a true conception of his character and weaves into the mental image formed of him the false features gathered from the other quasi-divine beings, then, whatever the name employed, be it God or Jehovah or even ‘the Father’, the reality of the divine life is not in it. In such a case it is the perverted image that evokes the worship, instead of the true God.
Notes & References
|Geerhardus Vos, “The Wonderful Tree,” in Grace and Glory (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2000), 16.