Those who make an image, all of them are useless, and their precious things shall not profit; they are their own witnesses; they neither see nor know, that they may be ashamed. Who would form a god or mold an image that profits him nothing? Surely all his companions would be ashamed; and the workmen, they are mere men. Let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, they shall be ashamed together. (Isaiah 44:9-11)
Our Precious Things Are Useless
Idolatry is as old as the world. Worship is innate in men, but the object of worship is a choice. Whom men choose to revere determines the character of the man. There are only two choices when it comes to worship: man will worship himself or acknowledge a higher being and worship Him. Pride does not allow a man’s heart to accept the will of his Creator to direct his steps and his ways because there are restrictions prohibiting desired lusts. If a man subjects himself to the will of God, he is not free to live as he chooses. To placate the guilt of denying the eternal God, the wisdom of man creates his own totem to form in his own desire. The result of idolatry is rooted in the greatest of follies when men create their own gods to fall down and worship, and man must deliver their gods.
Israel was destroyed because of idolatry. Isaiah warns the people of God to reject the gods of men returning to the one true God. A logical approach to idolatry shows how useless idol worship can be. A man cuts down a tree to build a fire and warm himself and uses the same tree to carve an image that becomes his god. The idol does not speak and has no understanding, and yet man worships their precious creation. Idolatry is the greatest of follies for the vanity it creates in the void of human wisdom. Man’s pride will not allow him to admit what he holds in his hand is a lie. What is precious to him is what he has created with his own hand. Man creates his god instead of accepting that God created mankind for worship.
There are many places throughout the world that still worship idols. Great carvings stand in temples worshipped by people who carry home small idols to treasure in their homes with daily worship. To the Christian mind, this is folly. What is remarkable is that while it is easy to see the foolishness of falling down to an idol, one of the greatest problems in the church is found in those who allow the trappings of the world to become their idols of choice. No child of God would believe that falling down to an idol of Buddha would be acceptable before God and yet fill their hearts with the pride of materialism in the kinds of homes, cars, boats, and recreational equipment they possess. An idol is anything considered precious that takes the heart away from God.
It does not have to be a carved image of a creature to be an idol. A job can be an idol that takes precedence over service to God. Living in lovely homes and driving certain vehicles can become the heart’s idolatry. Pride exalts the spirit to trust in the riches of life. Idolatry is alive and well in modern-day America. Those who make treasures of earth their gods worship things that are useless and vain. A man and woman will spend all their life gaining stuff and leave all their stuff when they die. What is sad is they never laid up treasure in heaven. Jesus calls them fools. All the things of life profit nothing. What is precious is lost. Souls are destroyed. Eternity is filled with idol worshippers who sit in torment and darkness and have given up everything for something worthless.
God created man for His glory. All men are formed by the hand of the Lord. The Creator demands His creation honor Him through worship, acknowledging the one true God. Do not be fooled into believing idol worship is only bowing before a carved image. Look around you. There may be more idols than you know. What is more precious – your eternal soul or the useless trinkets of a wasted life? They shall be ashamed together.