Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Foolishness of Men

Not too long ago, I got a Kindle (thanks to my brother and a gift from another friend). This is a strange thing for me to get in that I don't really enjoy reading. I actually got it because of its free lifetime 3G connection... and I don't want to pay for a data plan on my phone. Anyway, it is a great tool. One of the cool features is that it reads to you. I have been having it read Isaiah to me the last couple days. It covers about 10 chapters between my drive to work and my drive back home. It reads fairly quickly and reads verse numbers and titles and everything. This makes it kind of hard to follow at times so you really have to focus when you are listening to it. I have actually found this to be helpful because it causes me to listen more intently and since it is read in a manner which is different than I have ever read it (or heard it read), I am often finding myself noticing new things that I hadn't noticed before because of the change in emphasis. It is all read so "matter of factly". Anyway, today I was listening to Isaiah and you will probably find this kind of funny, but I was literally sitting there in traffic clapping because of how clear and brilliant God is. I didn't know how else to respond other than to clap for Him and how He speaks to my heart through His Word.

Take a look at this section from Isaiah 44 and 46:
Those who fashion a graven image are all of them futile, and their precious things are of no profit; even their own witnesses fail to see or know, so that they will be put to shame. Who has fashioned a god or cast an idol to no profit? Behold, all his companions will be put to shame, for the craftsmen themselves are mere men. Let them all assemble themselves, let them stand up, let them tremble, let them together be put to shame. The man shapes iron into a cutting tool and does his work over the coals, fashioning it with hammers and working it with his strong arm. He also gets hungry and his strength fails; he drinks no water and becomes weary. Another shapes wood, he extends a measuring line; he outlines it with red chalk He works it with planes and outlines it with a compass, and makes it like the form of a man, like the beauty of man, so that it may sit in a house. Surely he cuts cedars for himself, and takes a cypress or an oak and raises it for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants a fir, and the rain makes it grow. Then it becomes something for a man to burn, so he takes one of them and warms himself; he also makes a fire to bake bread. He also makes a god and worships it; he makes it a graven image and falls down before it. Half of it he burns in the fire; over this half he eats meat as he roasts a roast and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, "Aha! I am warm, I have seen the fire." But the rest of it he makes into a god, his graven image He falls down before it and worships; he also prays to it and says, "Deliver me, for you are my god." They do not know, nor do they understand, for He has smeared over their eyes so that they cannot see and their hearts so that they cannot comprehend. No one recalls, nor is there knowledge or understanding to say, "I have burned half of it in the fire and also have baked bread over its coals I roast meat and eat it Then I make the rest of it into an abomination, I fall down before a block of wood!" He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has turned him aside And he cannot deliver himself, nor say, "Is there not a lie in my right hand?"

Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, And all the remnant of the house of Israel, You who have been borne by Me from birth And have been carried from the womb; Even to your old age I will be the same, And even to your graying years I will bear you! I have done it, and I will carry you; And I will bear you and I will deliver you. "To whom would you liken Me And make Me equal and compare Me, That we would be alike? "Those who lavish gold from the purse And weigh silver on the scale Hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god; They bow down, indeed they worship it. "They lift it upon the shoulder and carry it; They set it in its place and it stands there It does not move from its place Though one may cry to it, it cannot answer; It cannot deliver him from his distress. "Remember this, and be assured; Recall it to mind, you transgressors. "Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, 'My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure'; Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man of My purpose from a far country Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it. "Listen to Me, you stubborn-minded, Who are far from righteousness. "I bring near My righteousness, it is not far off; And My salvation will not delay And I will grant salvation in Zion, And My glory for Israel.
I just love the clarity here! I don't know about you, but I am so prone to trust in worthless things. Things that can never change anything. It is idolatry of the heart. Sometimes I wish I had a physical "idol" whenever I start to trust things other than Him just as a reminder of how completely foolish it is. Don't take that beyond what I mean by it. I just don't see it as "foolish" sometimes... and I long to trust only Him. I want to see idols of my heart as complete foolishness. There is infinitely little reason to trust in anything except for God and infinitely many reasons to trust fully in God. He alone can change hearts. He alone can deliver. He commands and it is. No purpose of His can be thwarted. He will accomplish all His good pleasure. Oh how I long for this to be my heart's desire... that I would not trust in things made with hands, but in the God who has never failed.

God, there truly is no one like You. There is nothing and no one that can be trusted like You. You are the One that carries me. You are the one that gives me even this next breathe. God, I need You to strip away any idols of my heart. I know I have asked this before, but I plead with You once again to reign fully in this heart that You have purchased with Your blood. You have poured out abundance of riches on me... let me not lose sight of You. Let me not grow weary of dependence on You. Restore my joy in trusting You. Make it my passion. Remind me that Your commands are not in any way burdensome. I ask that You would do all these things for Your pleasure. You will accomplish it. Thank You for Your unending grace in even causing me to desire to please You... for anything good comes from You. There is no one like You. Make Yourself at home on the throne of my heart. Be steadfast and immovable here. Slaughter anything that rivals You in my heart for Your glory.

1 comment:

Amber Noella said...

Our God was not made by human hands! Thanks for writing this out.