How foolish are those who manufacture idols. These prized objects are really worthless. The people who worship idols don’t know this, so they are all put to shame. Who but a fool would make his own god— an idol that cannot help him one bit? All who worship idols will be disgraced along with all these craftsmen—mere humans— who claim they can make a god. They may all stand together, but they will stand in terror and shame. The wood-carver measures a block of wood and draws a pattern on it. He works with chisel and plane and carves it into a human figure. He gives it human beauty and puts it in a little shrine. He cuts down cedars; he selects the cypress and the oak; he plants the pine in the forest to be nourished by the rain. Then he uses part of the wood to make a fire. With it he warms himself and bakes his bread. Then—yes, it’s true—he takes the rest of it and makes himself a god to worship! He makes an idol and bows down in front of it! He burns part of the tree to roast his meat and to keep himself warm. He says, “Ah, that fire feels good.” Then he takes what’s left and makes his god: a carved idol! He falls down in front of it, worshiping and praying to it. “Rescue me!” he says. “You are my god!” Such stupidity and ignorance! Their eyes are closed, and they cannot see. Their minds are shut, and they cannot think. The person who made the idol never stops to reflect, “Why, it’s just a block of wood! I burned half of it for heat and used it to bake my bread and roast my meat. How can the rest of it be a god? Should I bow down to worship a piece of wood?” The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes. He trusts something that can’t help him at all. Yet he cannot bring himself to ask, “Is this idol that I’m holding in my hand a lie?” (Isaiah 44:9-11, 13-20 NLT)
Most people when commenting on the above scripture will say, “Wow! How ignorant can people be?” Yet they fail to realize that they have replaced the wood in Isaiah 44 with Uncle Sam, our wealth, our technology, and our medical advancements. Our technology and our wealth convince us daily that we can solve anything that this life throws at us. Let’s be aware that our modern life, with all the ‘control’ and ‘convenience’ that technology has provided, can confuse us and make us think we are more powerful than we in fact are. There are so many in America that are dependent for their subsistence from the checks they receive from Uncle Sam every month. They have made the American government their god, rather than the God who created them. Americans go out and abuse their bodies, which are supposed to be temples of the Holy Spirit, and then they turn to medical science and expect doctors to reverse the effects of their negligence.
Can a Christian reap the benefits of technology and wealth? He or she most certainly can. But where the dividing line is in the attitude of dependence.
Do you have an attitude of gratitude towards God for the blessings that you have received from this modern-day society’s advancements? Or are you so frightened and at a loss of what to do when you finally hit a brick wall and these advancements cannot solve your problem?
The LORD has blessed me in being a very tenacious and highly skilled individual, as most people are. But if I do not rely and obey the LORD in guidance and direction, then I am not living by faith. Habakkuk reminds us that ‘the just must live by faith’ (2:4). Hebrews 11:6 tells us that ‘it is impossible to please God without faith’. Look what happened to King Saul who took things into his own hands :
But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the Lord, he has rejected you, Saul, as king.” (1 Samuel 15:22-23 NLT)
Habakkuk 3:17-19 describes the collapse of an economy. He predicts famines, food shortages, loss of income, lack in all things. But in spite of these dire things to come, he trusts and is convinced God is still God through every famine and hard time:
“Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls— Yet I will rejoice in the Lord , I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills.” (Habakkuk 3:17-19 NKJV)
It all comes down to these questions. Who really is your God? Can you truly pray the Lord’s Prayer as your own personal prayer as it is written below?
My Father which art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give me this day my daily bread. And forgive me my trespasses, as I forgive those who trespass against me. Lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil. For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen