When I read passages like this, I just want to scratch my head! I wonder to myself, “what are people thinking?” Then I remember not everyone has the same level of trust in God that I do. Sad as it is, it’s the truth. People are always looking for “things” outside themselves to help them feel good, feel complete.
We hear God say here, “I am the First and the Last; there is no other God.” That seems straightforward to me. God was there at the beginning, and he will be there at the end. He is the only God to trust in during all the in between times. So why do we constantly look for help, comfort, instruction, safety, etc. in other places? God IS the real deal, and he’s all of those things!
The answer to the why question is that people are disillusioned. Uninformed. Skeptical. These are all great reasons to look to a piece of wood for security instead, right? The last time I checked, wood cannot talk or listen. Wood can, however, be manipulated and made into all sorts of things. Statues, chairs, houses, desks, flooring, boxes, fence posts, and the list goes on. Does that make it trustworthy?
God says, “How foolish are those who manufacture idols. These prized objects are really worthless.” Perhaps it’s because people need something tangible they can hold on to or look at. After all, God is not visible to us like a piece of wood might be. We can’t hold him in our hand and feel safe.
Having idols apart from God also keeps us separated from him. If we are busy putting our attention to other, man made objects, we have less time for God. The answers will never come, and we’ll soon decide that our wooden idol is also worthless. Maybe it’s not wood at all. Maybe our idols are fame or wealth or work or sports. What is monopolizing your time?
The image that came forth for me today as I read about the wooden idol was actually the wooden cross where Jesus’ died. Now that was a piece of wood that had an impact on my life. That piece of wood played a role in changing the world, too! But the power was not in the wood itself but because of Jesus’ death.
Do you have a cross in your home? Perhaps you wear a cross around your neck. Those are not idols. They are remembrances to keep fresh for us what Jesus has done for us. Sometimes we need those simple reminders to speak peace and love into our hearts. Now that’s a piece of wood that has meaning.
Take some time today to make sure there are no idols in your life keeping you from walking closely with God. He is the one true source. Here are some verses to reflect on.
Psalm 22:19: “O Lord, do not stay far away! You are my strength; come quickly to my aid!”
1 Chronicles 16:11: “Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him.”
Ephesians 6:10: “A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”
Let’s pray … Lord, you are my rock and my salvation. I trust no other source. Help me to stand strong against peer pressure and messages of the world. May I not rely on any idols. Ever. You are my God. I give you my heart. Draw me close. In Jesus’ name. Amen.