God and Idolatry

In Isaiah 44, God says the following:

‘ I am the First and I am the Last.”  Jesus said, “I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.”

“Besides Me there is no God.”  This is true.  There is no God besides Him.  There is no other Rock besides Him.  The people made graven images, all of which were useless.  These things offer them nothing–they profit them nothing.

A man makes a god and worships it.  He makes it a carved image, and falls down to it.  He falls down before the carved image and worships it.  He prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god.”  He falls down before a block of wood!

Instead of worshipping the true God–the living God who is the first and the last, the people worship the gods they made–graven images carved from wood which could not save them or help them.  These were gods that could not see, hear, speak or move.  They had to be carried. They could not deliver or redeem anyone.

God says to Israel:

“I have formed you, you are My servant;
O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me!
I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions,
And like a cloud, your sins.
Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”

God is our Redeemer.  He formed us from the womb.  He is the Lord who makes all things.  He stretches out the heavens all by Himself.  He spreads abroad the earth by Himself.  He confirms the word of His servant and performs the counsel of His messengers.

Lord, help us to cast away any false gods we are worshipping and to worship only You, our Creator, our Redeemer and the Lord who is the First and the Last.  Help us to worship You alone, the God who formed us in the womb and who delivers and helps us.  It profits us everything when we worship You.

God confirms the word of His servants and performs the counsel of His messengers.  We know that someone is of God when what He says comes to pass.  Acts 18 says, “God who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands Nor is He worshipped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.

Paul also said “…for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.  Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.”

It is hard to believe that people would turn from worshipping God who lives and is so great that the heavens cannot contain Him; the God who loved us so much that He sent His beloved Son to die for our sins; the God who takes care of us, to worship gods made by their own hands–gods made of gold or silver or wood.

The angel encourages us to “worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water” (Revelation 14:7, last part).

Thou at worthy, O Lord, to receive honor and glory and power.  We worship You, O Lord because of who You are.

Here is some food for thought:

However much Isaiah was writing for his time and culture and people, look at how relevant the principles are for us today. The Lord, He alone is the Creator, He alone is our Redeemer, He alone can save us, thus He alone is worthy of our worship and our praise. Isaiah mocks those who create idols with their own hands, gods of their own making, and then bow down and worship them—things that are, indeed, “profitable for nothing.”

And yet, as silly and as foolish as all that seems to us, are we not in danger of doing something similar, of dedicating ourselves, our lives, our time, and our energy into things that, in the end, are “profitable for nothing,” that cannot answer the deepest need of our souls now, and that surely cannot redeem us from the grave at the end of time? How crucial that we watch and pray, that, as Paul said, we examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith  (2 Cor. 13:5). Sabbath worship, if done right, can remind us in a special way about why we should worship only the Lord. Worship should be a time that especially reminds us of what is important in life, what truly matters, and what is temporal, and even “profitable for nothing.”

We all know the danger of making idols out of money, power, prestige, and so on. What about the danger of making idols out of things such as church, the pastor, our own ministries, or even our own faithfulness or lifestyle or piety? 

Anything or anyone who comes before God in your life is your idol.  Always make sure that God has first place in your heart and in your life.  He deserves to be number one.  Make Him your first priority.  Don’t allow anything or anyone to stand between Him and you.  And always put your trust in Him.  As the psalmist said, “Trust in him at all times; [ye] people, pour out your heart before him: God [is] a refuge for us” (Psalm 62:8).

Don’t bow down to any statues or images. Worship God, the Creator only.

Source: http://www.absg.adventist.org/2011/3Q/SE/PDFa/EAQ_PDFs/EAQ311_09.pdf

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