Thursday, July 30

THE THINGS PEOPLE TREASURE


“All who make idols are nothing, and the things they treasure are worthless”. 

Isa 44:9 NIV 

It is interesting to visit an auction room. On sale, are the goods from people who have died or relinquished their homes. Most of the things are ordinary household items - pots, pans and crockery. But some you can see were treasures - a grandfather clock here, an antique leather-tooled top mahogany desk there, a three-hundred year old arm chair, or a vintage model T Ford car. 

The ancient people who surrounded the Israelites all worshipped some idol as a god. Most of these idols were carved out of wood, stone or a metal. They all had one feature in common - they were made by people for their own worship. The Israelites knew the difference between their God and these man-made idols. Their God had made them - and he had made them in his image. The idols of the other people were made by those people and had the marks of human manufacture about them. And it was not backward people only who worshipped idols. The Assyrians, the Egyptians and the Babylonians, advanced and sophisticated as they were, did as well. “And of course they attributed their success to the power of their gods. How absurd then, for their humiliated victims (the Israelites) to maintain that their God, the Lord, was supreme and that the gods of their conquerors were mere nothings! At times they must have doubted it themselves, and yet they were called to be witnesses to precisely that fact” (B. Wood, The Message of Isaiah, p180-1). 

Ask yourself if any of your greatest loves have become an idol, - a football team, a political movement, your home, your car. Reassess your values if it has. 

PRAYER THOUGHT
Lord, guard me from elevating mere things to the level of idols.