Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bowing to the Stump

Isaiah 44:1-28
     I'm trying to imagine how jealous I would be if my children were to give all their affections to another adult as if that person were their mother.  Furthermore, if they took gifts I gave them to shower adoration on this person. How would I be able to endure that?   I see the same thing here in this passage.  The Lord gives great detail on how Israel fashions these idols, and gives her devotion to them.  Yet, every step of the way, Israel fails to see, God provides the materials and skills to do that.  The rain used to grow the tree that will be fashioned into the idol?  God's rain.  The tree itself?  God's tree.  The fire the smith uses to melt down the metal for the idol?  God's fire. God's bread and meat sustains the strength of the worker.  It is all God's.  These workers work tirelessly to produce a small piece of wood or metal, to the point of exhaustion.  In the end, God says they are bowing down to a tree stump.  Why would they waste all that talent on something that will never love them back?  How would I feel if my children were to do that to me?  If I clothed them, fed them, protected them, comforted them, and they called someone else ""Mommy"".  And what if that person they honored wanted nothing to do with them?  How frustrating that would be! 
An Apple Tree Laden with Fruit--Taken from Standard Bible Story Readers, Book One
By Lillie A. Faris, Illustrated by O.A. Stemler and Bess Bruce Cleaveland
Standard Publishing Company, 1925
     We do the exact same thing.  Many times we do not give our love to an idol.  But we often spend our time, our talents, our gifts, our devotion, on things that are not worth our attention.  We use the gifts God has given us, not for His glory, but for our own gain, our own pleasure.  Lord, I am your child.  Yours alone.  I do not want to waste my affections elsewhere.  I know that they will never be returned by anyone or anything else.  I know how it must hurt You when I do not give you all my love, all my appreciation.  I know how jealous it must make you to see me devote myself to things that will not bring You any glory.  Remind me each day, Lord, when I am not doing something worthwhile for You.

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