The Foolishness of Idolatry

God has something to say in Isaiah 44:

6 Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel
and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
“I am the first and I am the last;
besides me there is no god.
7 Who is like me? Let him proclaim it. [1]
Let him declare and set it before me,
since I appointed an ancient people.
Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen.
8 Fear not, nor be afraid;
have I not told you from of old and declared it?
And you are my witnesses!
Is there a God besides me?
There is no Rock; I know not any.”

God is bringing it! Then read what He follows up with:

9 All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. 10 Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? 11 Behold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forth. They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together.

12 The ironsmith takes a cutting tool and works it over the coals. He fashions it with hammers and works it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint. 13 The carpenter stretches a line; he marks it out with a pencil. He shapes it with planes and marks it with a compass. He shapes it into the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, to dwell in a house. 14 He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. 15 Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also he makes a god and worships it; he makes it an idol and falls down before it. 16 Half of it he burns in the fire. Over the half he eats meat; he roasts it and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, “Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire!” 17 And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. He prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!”

18 They know not, nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand. 19 No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, “Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?” 20 He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”

Come on piece of wood, say that you’re like God. Tell me what is to come, what will happen. Oh wait, you can’t.

The foolishness of idolatry shines through this story. A man makes a fire and a god out of a piece of wood, then worships it and expects the piece of wood to deliver him. He is such a fool! And yet, I find myself in this position too often. I make an idol of a phone, a man, even an image!

That last one really gets me. I can make a picture of the cross into my God. I miss the point! It’s not the cross that’s worthy of worship, nor even the salvation that was bought for believers on a cross. It’s the one who paid the price. Jesus is the one we should worship.

Do you worship Jesus, or what He gives you? Do you worship Jesus, or a charismatic pastor? Do you worship Jesus, or what he has done for you?

Do you worship Jesus, or a block of wood?

I am convicted.

But there is one who is my advocate!

Update

I’ve been pretty busy lately. Ok maybe not too busy, but I haven’t been setting aside time to slow down. So here’s an update for anyone who’s interested:

  • I read the Twilight series in 4 days. At one point I read 120 pages in an hour. I didn’t think that was possible. And talk about an unhealthy relationship!
  • It was my birthday on Saturday. I got to spend it making some tasty treats with my sister and mom. Then we all ate Chinese food.
  • Shane and Shane are my favorite group to see live. They are incredible artists, skilled musicians and sold out for Jesus. I haven’t been able to get them out of my head since seeing them on Friday (and I don’t want to).
  • I’m going to hook up Shane Everett with some In Ear Monitors from my company.
  • I need to get to bed earlier. Always.

I know I forgot some things, but that’s fine. Just give me a call, I’d love to hear from you. I hope to write more, taking the time to put to paper (electronic bits?) what I’ve been thinking about. I have some new ideas and some old ideas that will (hopefully) be showing up here soon enough.

Thanks for reading!

Doxology

This has been in my head for a while, so I thought I’d put it in yours.

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye Heavenly Host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Community – Fear Of Man

Fear of failure.
Fear of looking foolish.
Fear of looking less than perfect.

Fear of rejection.
Fear of others judging me.
Fear of not impressing others.

Fear of not looking extraordinary.

My fears are silly. It’s all about my ego. When it comes to living in community, I need to get out of the way.