Read Isaiah Chapter 44
As citizens of technologically advanced societies most of us do not cast gods and set up altars to worship them but we do create idols for ourselves. God calls our idols abominations. (Verse 19). This chapter looks at the absurdity of worshiping idols or anything other than The Lord God.
The idol, our false god, must be crafted by someone. Verse 12 describes such a person.
“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.”
Compare that to the Lord Our Creator. Verse 24 describes Him this way,
“Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
who formed you from the womb:
“I am the Lord, who made all things,
who alone stretched out the heavens,
who spread out the earth by myself,”
Isaiah 40:28 describes Him like this,
“Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.”
We are people, we are temporary. We have weaknesses such as a need for food, water and sleep. How can we as imperfect beings create something worthy of worship? Other gods must be created, but The LORD is the Creator of the ends of the earth, He made all things.
Beginning in verse 13, The Lord describes the carpenter going out and choosing a tree, then using part of it to make an idol, the remnants he uses to build a fire, get warm and make a meal. Verses 15-17 read,
“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!”
People can’t see the ludicrousness of it. How can we depend on something that depended on us to be created? How can we ask for deliverance from something when half of it lies in ashes in the fire pit? We can’t see the farce!
God was not created. And while the carved wood can never hear prayers nor deliver its creator, The Lord God is Our Redeemer. Verses 21-22 read,
“Remember these things, O Jacob,
and Israel, for you are my servant;
I formed you; you are my servant;
O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.
22 I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud
and your sins like mist;
return to me, for I have redeemed you.”
Can the idol you worship do that? Only God can do that. He delivered Israel time and again. He redeemed me, forgave my every sin, and He made me completely new. One day He will gather His children to Him for eternity. Can your idol do that?
Maybe you don’t have an altar set up with a golden statue on it, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have idols. What have you put in place where God should be?
Have you idolized your child? Have you put your hope in her? You scolded her this morning for lying and tonight she receives all your service, time, money and faith.
Is your job your god? Do you depend on your job to provide all your needs? Does your time and effort go into your career?
Is there a celebrity that receives your adulation? Do you hope to be like him?
On whom do you depend? Where does your hope lie? Who or what do you worship? Who do you endeavor to emulate? That is your idol. That is your god.
Only The LORD offers true hope and redemption. Do you see the irrationality of putting anything or anyone else in His place?