Isaiah 44:12-20 12The 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. 13Then 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.14He cuts down cedars; he selects the cypress and the oak; he plants the pine in the forest to be nourished by the rain. 15Then 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! 16He burns part of the tree to roast his meat and to keep himself warm. He says, “Ah, that fire feels good.” 17Then 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. 19The 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?” 20The 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?”
Further proof that the commonly used phrase “ Jesus is a gentleman in how he deals with us”, is not always the case. Specifically in this passage as Jesus is pointing out the “stupidity in worshiping and bowing down to items and objects that we have control over. Specifically in how His people so easily find themselves ensnared, idolizing the things of this world that bring us comfort and a sense of security.
How can someone be so stupid? Ha! I am laughing because the word “stupid” in this context is biblical….
Truth is we all fight this common battle on a daily basis. Each one of us has to make a conscious effort to open our eyes and or minds in order to not make an idol out of things in this world that we work to possess and bring us comfort. We all have to resist the stupidity and urge to make our work, and things our work provides for our lives, an idol and place of worship in our hearts. We need to do a spiritual inventory daily in our hearts and ask Holy Spirit to show us if there is anything in our lives that we believe we can’t live without in order to worship Him. Furthermore, we need to ask, is there anything in our lives that is acting as a wedge between us and our relationship with God Almighty?
One may ask, Pastor John, are you suggesting that I be resentful of my work and the good things it provides to keep me and my family warm and fed? Not at all, that would be equally as stupid. I am saying that there is a difference between worshiping your work and possessions as idols in your life, and using your work and possessions as tools to worship God the Father and Provider in our lives. This switch in perspective enables us to look past ourselves and our own abilities to recognize that every good thing in our lives comes directly from a very generous Father that loves us.
Worship is not just a church building experience. It is a 24/7 lifestyle and perspective that protects us from the stupidity of creating idols out of things of this world and works of our hands. Worship is fighting in our hearts to choose to be perpetually grateful for who God has created us to be and the provision He has generously given us. Worship is declaring hour by hour His majesty and grace is sufficient for every need in our lives. Worship is letting our work and the many blessings that He has bestowed upon us, be used as tools to testify that Jesus alone is God and King of our hearts. This is how we break out the stupidity that plagues fallen humanity.
So all though I often find myself idolizing the work of my hands and the many things in this world. I am choosing again today, to not stay stuck in such stupidity, and make use of the time and blessings I have on this earth to worship Jesus.
Here are a few reminders I tell myself to help stay in a place of worship when life is tempting me otherwise…
God is going to use this trial or pain in my life to glorify Himself and build me.
God is not made in my image, I am made in His image. The point of my life is to be more like Jesus, not for Him to bend to my desires.
There’s no sin in my life, the blood of Jesus cannot cover and heal.
There is no problem I am facing bigger than God.
Clarity comes and breaks all confusion when I CHOOSE to worship Jesus
There is no better use of my time than to worship the one true living God.
There is nothing in this world that is worth more than my relationship with Jesus.
There is nothing in the world that can be taken away from me, that God needs me to have.