One morning I heard a bird tapping on the outside of my window. I thought how it must either see its reflection or there might be bugs there it was eating. Then, just for a second, it crossed my mind that having a bird outside your window tapping meant something—maybe something would happen or would be happening in my home.
Why did I have that thought? At some time in my past, I must have heard a similar tale. Maybe a saying I read, or a television psychic, or possibly it was in a movie. The point is, the idea of a bird at the window having some deeper meaning crossed my mind.
In the Bible, we read many warnings to God's people. They were told not be to be unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14), and to not get involved with foreign idols and worship (Psalm 81:9; Joshua 24:23). They were also warned not to seek out soothsayers and witches (Micah 5:12; Deuteronomy 18:10; Leviticus 19:26). These are not idle admonitions. God knows how people can be led astray by believing in their own creations. Deuteronomy bans idols made of wood, stone, silver, gold, bronze, and iron—all manmade gods (Deuteronomy 29:17; compare Daniel 5:4).
We see examples of how various people were led astray merely by associating with idol worshippers. Throughout the Old Testament, we read of bad kings who would allow idol worship to flourish. Yet even good kings allowed high places to stay intact, even while cleaning up everything else. We also read how the wives of kings brought their idols from other lands.
You might be thinking this has nothing to do with you, because we don't have carved idols around much anymore. But if you think about it, we do: We have palm and tarot card readers, psychics, witches, and we, too, make idols. We may not personally carve them from wood, or form them from metal, but many do worship money, gold, a person or a leader. Some even bow down to worship images of the cross, Jesus Christ, Mary, the apostles, religious relics, images of saints or specific places deemed as holy.
The point is that what we put in our mind is what often sticks. My grandmother was very superstitious. She would not come into my house until she saw white on my black cat. She had all sorts of ideas of what it meant if a bat was in the house or if you put a hat on a bed. It was all pretty silly, but she believed it completely. That’s why we must guard our minds against things that are not of God. The smallest of superstitions can stick with us. The woman at the carnival who wants to read our fortune can put wrong ideas or goals in our minds. I remember reading an article years ago about the fact that people who read daily horoscopes ended up making things happen that would fit what they read in the horoscope. They can and do influence people’s actions.
2 Kings 17:33 describes a state of being we do not want to find ourselves in: “They feared the LORD, yet served their own gods—according to the rituals of the nations from among whom they were carried away.” Even in church, we can get caught up in rituals that push aside what God and Jesus Christ have taught us. It can be a small thing to us, like a pebble that we kick out of our way. However, sometimes it is a boulder standing in our path to righteousness.
It is important not to allow evil into our lives in any form. If it does get in we must stop, realize what is happening and put an end to it at once—like with the bird pecking at my window. When the notion came to mind of some superstition I immediately recognized it as such and reminded myself that the thought was put there by someone or something that was not of God. Prophecy tells us that in the end, people will finally toss away the idols they have made, knowing they are worthless in their lives (Isaiah 2:20). Can we toss away the idols and wrong beliefs in ours?