Today you should read: Isaiah 44
“It’s time to put on the rally cap.” A rally cap is when you turn your baseball cap inside out and wear it to give you good luck for a comeback. I remember being in tournaments and all of my teammates and I sitting in the dugout with our rally caps on as our team was up to bat, hoping that we would mount a comeback. The only time during that inning that you didn’t wear the rally cap is when you were on deck or at bat. Sometimes it worked and other times it didn’t. I believe that we would have rallied the same amount of times regardless of the rally cap, but we were superstitious like that.
I know that the rally cap concept seems silly and that is because it was silly. Who would place their hopes in the luck of a rally cap, or a rabbit’s foot, or a four leaf clover? Superstition is just another way to describe idols. Idols are nouns (people, places or things) that we worship in order to profit. Today’s passage speaks to this idea of idolatry and just how silly it really is.
In the time that this passage was written, people would make idols out of wood. They would cut down a tree and carve images of the gods into the wood and worship them. The thing that the author is pointing out is that man cut down the tree, created the image and worshipped the image that was made from the same wood that they used for fires to warm themselves and to cook with (v.9-20). The whole thing from start to finish was manmade. It is easy to see how this practice of carved images can be viewed as ignorant or barbaric, and intellectual people would never do such a thing. However, idolatry is all around us and it is helpful to recognize the heart of idolatry and how we make good things idols.
Idolatry is when we take something or someone and become consumed with it for our own benefit. The carved images were made because they represented gods that provided things like fertility or rain for the crops. If a relationship or success or objects provide a feeling of satisfaction, security, approval, comfort, power, control, etc. then we will worship that thing. Worship is what we trust, seek, serve, sacrifice, spend money on or talk about most. In other words, idol worship is just self worship.
Do you struggle with idols in your life? Maybe ask yourself, what do I sin in order to get or what causes me to sin if I don’t get it?
Our hearts can only worship one thing at a time. They can either worship God or self through idols. Which will you choose?
“I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god” (v.6b)
Posted by: Chad Wiles