The Bible has a lot to say about idolatry. In Isaiah 44, we are presented with the picture of a blacksmith hard at work- working with all his strength to build up a carved image of a man.
“He shapes [it] with hammers, he forges it with the might of his arm” (vs. 12).
He grows exhausted and weak. Yet he still bows down to it praying, “Save me; you are my god” (vs. 17).
This man, this idol-worshiper, becomes blinded to the truth of the Lord. Isaiah writes in verse 18,
“They know nothing, they understand nothing;
their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see,
and their minds closed so they cannot understand.”
The man loses all understanding of how ridiculous he is for searching for fulfillment and satisfaction from something which will never be able to fill him. He is a lover of emptiness, bowing down to a “block of wood” (verse 19).
And I think, how often in my own life do I bow down to blocks of wood– how often do I become a lover of emptiness?
Recently, the Lord has really been shining light on the idols in my life- the things that I worship, that I obsess over, the things that turn my thoughts and my emotions from a heart solely after the Lord.
Approval. Affirmation. Appearances. Acceptance.
Just like the blacksmith, I find myself working with all of my might to build up these idols, these blocks of wood in my life. I grow tired and I fail. Over and over. And I am in love with emptiness.
See it’s funny how if you live long enough in worship of things apart from the Lord, you begin to become blinded of your foolishness and slowly lose your foothold in the Truth of God’s Word.
Romans 1:25 says-
“They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator.”
The reality is this- nothing on this Earth will ever be able to give you true fulfillment in life. No relationship. No job position. No amount of money. No article of clothing. No number on the scale.
What’s sad is that rather than turning to our all-sustaining and loving Father when we don’t achieve this fullness in life, we often only work harder or seek elsewhere to achieve it. And we are now a slave to the things of this world. We are in submission to a block of wood– to complete emptiness.
It’s now that we begin exchanging God’s Truth for the lies of this world- the lies that leak discontentment and discouragement- the lies that tell us we are never enough.
But you see, this is what we miss out on- this is God’s Truth:
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 149:14)
You are My treasured possession. (Exodus 19:5)
You were made in My image. (Genesis 1:27)
I am ALL you need. (Psalm 73:25)
You were not a mistake. (Psalm 139:15-16)
You are a stranger to this world. (1 Peter 2:11)
I have called you by name- You are Mine. (Isaiah 43:1)
Nothing will separate you from My love. (Romans 8:38-39)
How absolutely devastating it must be for the Lord to watch His beloved children labor in vain after such empty things- after a block of wood– when He is waiting with open arms, waiting to give us a life abounding in joy and fulfillment.
What idols are you building up today? What are you bowing down to in place of the Lord?
Acceptance? Affirmation? Approval?
Lay down your hammer. Stand up.
You already have it.
No other name.