I made a separate post because I had a feeling this might be even longer.
Finally, I read Isaiah 44. I don’t remember the last time I got something so great out of this book, except for that verse I posted about a few days ago in chapter 43. Anyway, this is what it says,
14 He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. 15 Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also he makes a god and worships it; he makes it an idol and falls down before it. 16 Half of it he burns in the fire. Over the half he eats meat; he roasts it and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, “Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire!” 17 And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. He prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!”
I love this. OK, first of all we have a man who is going about his life as perhaps some sort of farmer, using the trees around him to survive. He uses the trees for wood for a fire to keep himself warm and to cook his food. God gives us earthly resources to be able to survive so fire wood and cooking over that fire are ways of putting God’s resources to good work. It’s a gift from God that we accept and use wisely and without wasting (at least we should). But then in the second part of verse 15 it says he also uses the wood to create an idol for worship. Ya know the saying that God can take everything and turn it for good? Well it works the other way around too. God’s pure gifts can be perverted and used for evil, even at the same time like we see in these verses. It’s a hypocritical man. Someone who gets drunk Saturday night and raises his hands in service Sunday morning.
I don’t know why but this passage was just so fascinating to me. How could anyone take something God has given them to survive and use it and enjoy it then turn it against Him? Yet it is done daily. I dare say I am sure I am guilty of it in some way or another. It’s eye-opening. It makes me aware. I pray I stay aware and watchful. For my sake and those around me.