Saturday, October 4, 2014
“Among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion; they, they are thy lot: even to them hast thou poured a drink offering, thou hast offered a meat offering. Should I receive comfort in these?” (Isaiah 57:6 KJV).
Imagine Israel doing such foolishness right in front of JEHOVAH!
Today’s Scripture—whose context, verses 3-12, reprimands Israel’s pagan idolatry—says the Jews collected (mindless, inanimate) rocks from a riverbed, and then poured out drink offerings and offered meat offerings to them as if they were Almighty God (the living and true God was deeply offended, as today’s Scripture indicates).
How preposterous! Israel had willfully abandoned JEHOVAH’S words (the Old Testament Scriptures), and preferred to imitate her heathen neighbors in worshipping dead idols (the Gentiles’ spiritual ignorance and moral decay are clearly described in Romans 1:18-32). Throughout the Old Testament, we read about stone idols worshipped by Gentiles (Deuteronomy 29:16,17; Isaiah 37:19) and Jews (Jeremiah 2:27; Habakkuk 2:19)—those stone idols were believed to speak and teach!
Lest we dismiss this as “ignorance due to bygone primitivism,” or in case we look down upon Israel as if our “modern” world is any better, remember that, today, most peoples of the world “pay homage” (worship) to such non-living objects in this “scientifically advanced” 21st century! In their churches and homes, even among many “Christian” people, they set up statues of wood and stone, hang paintings of “holy” figures (artistic interpretations, not actual photographs!), and then bow or kneel before them and utter prayers. The paints, minerals, and plant fibers are dead, and yet they are assumed to be able to help those “genuflecting” before them!
Today’s Scripture is a strict reminder that any forms of idolatry will not comfort (delight) the God of the Scriptures. Beloved, even if that idolatry is called “Christianity,” images of stone and wood (at their root) are heathen. Those same worthless “aids of worship” that helped Israel to ignore JEHOVAH, aided JEHOVAH in proving to Israel that she was worthy of being evicted from His land (and He did just that!). Friends, let us “turn to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1:9)! 🙂