March 19, Friday Devotion
Sorry about the lack of a devotion for yesterday. My computer crashed, but it is all set straight now.
6 This is what the Lord says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies: “I am the First and the Last; there is no other God. 7 Who is like me? Let him step forward and prove to you his power. Let him do as I have done since ancient times when I established a people and explained its future. 8 Do not tremble; do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim my purposes for you long ago? You are my witnesses—is there any other God? No! There is no other Rock—not one!” 9 How foolish are those who manufacture idols. These prized objects are really worthless. The people who worship idols don’t know this, so they are all put to shame. 10 Who but a fool would make his own god—an idol that cannot help him one bit? 11 All who worship idols will be disgraced along with all these craftsmen—mere humans—who claim they can make a god. They may all stand together, but they will stand in terror and shame. 12 The blacksmith stands at his forge to make a sharp tool, pounding and shaping it with all his might. His work makes him hungry and weak. It makes him thirsty and faint. 13 Then the wood-carver measures a block of wood and draws a pattern on it. He works with chisel and plane and carves it into a human figure. He gives it human beauty and puts it in a little shrine. 14 He cuts down cedars; he selects the cypress and the oak; he plants the pine in the forest to be nourished by the rain. 15 Then he uses part of the wood to make a fire. With it he warms himself and bakes his bread. Then—yes, it’s true—he takes the rest of it and makes himself a god to worship! He makes an idol and bows down in front of it! 16 He burns part of the tree to roast his meat and to keep himself warm. He says, “Ah, that fire feels good.” 17 Then he takes what’s left and makes his god: a carved idol! He falls down in front of it, worshiping and praying to it. “Rescue me!” he says. “You are my god!” 18 Such stupidity and ignorance! Their eyes are closed, and they cannot see. Their minds are shut, and they cannot think. 19 The person who made the idol never stops to reflect, “Why, it’s just a block of wood! I burned half of it for heat and used it to bake my bread and roast my meat. How can the rest of it be a god? Should I bow down to worship a piece of wood?” 20 The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes. He trusts something that can’t help him at all. Yet he cannot bring himself to ask, “Is this idol that I’m holding in my hand a lie?”
What is an idol? An idol is "a person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion." The person or thing is "visible, but without substance." Some people wrongly think that an idol is something of which we spend too much time. Sometimes we are confusing addiction with idol worship. Most of us live in the American society where we are to give reverence to people and things even though they are hollow. Like the metal and wood mentioned in scripture, idols are just materials that could be used to help others. The God who we read about in Isaiah is not a hollow shell. He is the one who creates out of love. He loves because love makes up the substance of God. Yet there are consequences for those who respond to God's love with idol love.
(both quotations are taken from dictionary.com)
Almighty God, I worship you. You love compels me to love you and those you created. May the materials I use be used to help rather than to make idols. Amen.