You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Idols are a part of every nation and culture that has ever existed. Not everyone makes idols out of wood or stone, but everyone has a sinful tendency towards idolatry. An idol is anything in creation that functions in the place of the one, true God. There are certain things that only the one, true God can give, if you try to get these things somewhere else, you are worshipping an idol.
Often, we seek to meet our needs in things other than God. In Okinawan society, the need for safety and the need for life is met through the totome. In Western society, the needs for happiness, fulfillment, meaning, and security are met through the idols of money, sex, and human relationships. We are all idolaters, no matter where we were born.
Only Jesus Christ is able to give us the things that we need. He gives us safety, a real relationship, eternal life, and so many other blessings. Through him, we are set free from idolatry to have what will truly make us happy: God himself.