Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.
Thoughts for Today:In our passage today, Paul reminds the Galatians that before they came to know God through Jesus, they were slaves to sin and in bondage to idols. These idols were gods in name only. They had no life or power, therefore they couldn't do anything -- whether bad or good. (Psalm 115:4-8: "But their idols are silver and gold, made by human hands. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see. They have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but cannot smell. They have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but cannot walk, nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.")
There are some who will read our passage and think it has no present day relevance. Yet, in many ways, it was much the same in Paul's day as it is now. For example, we all know people who pray to a cosmic force they call "god", yet have no desire to know the true God or seek His will. The god they pray to is one they've created in their own mind and with their own imagination. And by doing so, consider themselves "spiritual." Others are overtly into the worship of idols. They light candles, say little mantras, make altars and spin prayer wheels. Some even wear robes, burn incense, and put on masks.
Why are so many people involved in empty and wasted practices? Because all of them are trying to manipulate a god who isn't a god. They don't realize they worship a god of their own creation and therefore by definition is empty and devoid of life or power.
Questions to Ponder:Do you read your horoscope each day? Do you look for lucky or unlucky signs before doing something? In what ways do you retain superstitious beliefs? What is the Bible's perspective on these things?