The Futility of Idolatry

“But you, draw near,
    sons of the sorceress,
    offspring of the adulterer…
Whom are you mocking?
    Against whom do you open your mouth wide
    and stick out your tongue?
Are you not children of transgression,
    the offspring of deceit,
you who burn with lust among the oaks,
    under every green tree,
who slaughter your children in the valleys,
    under the clefts of the rocks?
Among the smooth stones of the valley is your portion;
to them you have poured out a drink offering,
    you have brought a grain offering.
    Shall I relent for these things?
On a high and lofty mountain
    you have set your bed,
    and there you went up to offer sacrifice…
You journeyed to the king with oil
    and multiplied your perfumes;
you sent your envoys far off,
    and sent down even to Sheol.
You were wearied with the length of your way,
    but you did not say, ‘It is hopeless’…

“Whom did you dread and fear,
    so that you lied,
and did not remember me,
    did not lay it to heart?
Have I not held my peace, even for a long time,
    and you do not fear me?..
When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you!
    The wind will carry them all off,
    a breath will take them away.
But he who takes refuge in me shall possess the land
    and shall inherit my holy mountain…

“For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,
    who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
‘I dwell in the high and holy place,
    and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly,
    and to revive the heart of the contrite…
I have seen his ways, but I will heal him;
    I will lead him and restore comfort to him.'”

“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,
    or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;
but your iniquities have made a separation
    between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you
    so that he does not hear…

“A Redeemer will come..,
    to those who turn from transgression.” Isaiah 57:3-7,9-11,13,15,18; 59:1-2,20

Ah, what foolishness is tinkering with idols of this world! Flirting with the sorceress, the adulterer, the captivation with nature that attempts to channel and exults in its ‘high power.’ Any direction or affection or intimacy that comes between us and the Lord, any heaven that is not His dwelling place and throne, are idols. Dare we forget He alone is God! We wander, we repeat our false and empty sacrifices, we act from fear of man, thinking we will get somewhere, win some favor, earn some peace, and all for naught. Weary as we grow, we will not admit our hopelessness.

Yet the high and holy God does not weary in long-suffering and holding His peace. In loving mercy, He invites us to cross sin’s chasm to His refuge. He condescends to the contrite and lowly. If we would but turn from our idolatry, He heals, restores, and redeems lost, wasted years. (Joel 2:25)

What idols have stolen our hearts, allegiance, and devotion, and interfered with our communion with Jesus? Will we forsake them today?

Father, may I have and love no God but You. (Exodus 20:3-5a)

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