Idolatry; July 15, 2021

Isaiah 44:17 From the rest he makes a god, his idol;
he bows down to it and worships.
He prays to it and says,
“Save me; you are my god.”

Just recently Bill Whittle and Alfonzo Rachel had an episode of The Virtue Signal in which they discussed ridicule as the most effective weapon against absurd ideas. This whole section is an absolutely superb example of that. Idolatry is certainly absurd from start to finish, just as Isaiah points out, but people do it anyway. We are all born with an innate impulse to seek our Creator, which is hardly surprising since we were created for fellowship with Him. Solomon expressed that as, “He has also set eternity in the hearts of men.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) However, between human pride and the devil’s lies, that often gets totally sidetracked. In “advanced” societies today idols of wood, metal, or stone are hardly in vogue, but that certainly doesn’t mean idolatry has diminished. It’s no accident that entertainment figures are called “idols!” We want something over which we feel we have some control, so we run away from our Creator, over whom we obviously have no control. The absolute stupidity of that is beyond words to express, which is why Isaiah went into this extended discussion of how idols are made. Today, people turn to “science” or political systems, treating them as religions. As has been pointed out by several people, those who keep saying, “Follow the science,” don’t mean that, because the actual scientific method is fundamentally skeptical, always testing and never “settled.” Various political systems have their advantages, but what we are seeing today has left the realm of logic and reason and has entered the realm of religion. North Korea and China are painful examples today of what happens when the State (and its leaders) insist that they alone are to be worshiped. Ridicule is about all we have left in the face of such absurdity! Idolatry in any guise is a totally stupid dedication to ultimate destruction.

I can pontificate on this at length, but I have not been immune to it myself. For a distinct period in my life I essentially worshiped my own intellect, which is about as ironic as they come, because it demonstrates total stupidity! I grew up in a land of many stone, wood and metal idols, and failed to realize that placing anything other than my Creator on the throne of my heart was idolatry. I felt superior to all the idolaters around me, since I knew the Bible, but that didn’t mean I was being obedient to the Bible! I shake my head at Japanese who practice both Buddhist and Shinto rituals, totally ignoring the glaring contradictions between those religions, but I myself claim to believe the Bible and yet fail to live it out consistently. I am to speak the truth in love, never forgetting that the grace that I proclaim is as essential to me as it is to my hearers. I need to be on constant guard that nothing comes ahead of God in my allegiance, that He alone is the final arbiter of all my decisions. Intangible idols are just as dangerous as physical ones, if not more so.

Father, thank You for this clear Word, and for how You work everything together so beautifully. Thank You for how that video meshed with this morning’s reading. Help me listen to You obediently at all times, however You choose to speak to me, so that I may be the obedient child, servant, You desire and deserve, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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