Meditations on God 4

Isaiah 40:17 All the nations are as nothing before Him, They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless. 18 To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare with Him? 19 As for the idol, a craftsman casts it, A goldsmith plates it with gold, And a silversmith fashions chains of silver. 20 He who is too impoverished for such an offering Selects a tree that does not rot; He seeks out for himself a skillful craftsman To prepare an idol that will not totter. 21 Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? 22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. 23 He it is who reduces rulers to nothing, Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless. 24 Scarcely have they been planted, Scarcely have they been sown, scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth, But He merely blows on them, and they wither, And the storm carries them away like stubble. 25 “To whom then will you liken Me That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One. 26 Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing.

In reality all things are about God. All things were created by Him and they were created for Him. As all things were created by Him, all things reflect something of God if only He would reveal them to us. In one sense nothing is like God, and yet in another all things reflect something of God. Most likely the word “like” is used in an equivocal way when we speak this way. There is nothing like God in the sense that He is beyond being compared to anything or anyone. In another sense, human beings are made in His image and are to be like Him, which is to say that they are to pursue a moral likeness.

The human heart if full of self, pride, and clearly, therefore, full of idolatry. The fallen human heart wants to use all things for self rather than for God, and that includes self. The fallen human hearts is centered upon itself in self-love and wants to be at the center of all things. The fallen human heart will change and twist reality in order to allow it to be at the center of all things, so the human heart will twist and distort the truth of God. When it has worked and worked to distort enough, it will erect idols in its own image and after its own likeness. The fallen heart finds out craftsmen and builds an idol made out of gold according to what it wants the idol to be. It is impossible for any idol to reflect the truth of God and so idolatry is strictly forbidden.

While it may be rare in the United States and Europe in our day to find people building idols in the same way, though indeed Roman Catholicism has idols and many other religions do too, but it is not the common thing to do in so-called evangelical circles. However, idols of the heart in wrong theology and coveting are rampant. In sermon after sermon and book after book God is likened to man and He is twisted and distorted to become like man or like man wants. Men want a God that they can control and they want a God that they can manipulate through what they think is faith or what they call prayer. It appears that the vast majority of evangelicalism of today is head over heels in idolatry as they have wrong gods and think that the true and sovereign God will do what they want.

If men would simply look into the heaven they would behold the true God on display, though of course He is more clearly on display in Scripture. If it is true that “All the nations are as nothing before Him” and “they are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless,” then the so-called god of the modern pulpit is nothing but an idol. The God who can change is an idol. The God who is anything less than absolutely sovereign is an idol. The God who can be moved by anything other than Himself is an idol. The God who is pleased with men apart from Christ is an idol. We must behold the living God and we must see our utter helplessness before Him. We must behold the living God and see our utter weakness and nothingness before Him. We cannot serve this God, but instead the only thing we can do (spiritually or good) is what we receive from Him. We cannot seek Him with hearts that don’t love Him and we cannot seek Him with hidden idols in our hearts. We cannot fool Him and manipulate Him to do anything at all. We cannot even avoid sin apart from His mercy. We are at His mercy in all things. He is utterly and totally sovereign, we are utterly dependent upon Him.

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