God and Idols

Bel bows down, Nebo stoops low; their idols are borne by beasts of burden. The images that are carried about are burdensome, a burden for the weary. They stoop and bow down together; unable to rescue the burden, they themselves go off into captivity.

‘Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and grey hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.’
Isaiah 46:1-4, NIV*

The gods made by the Babylonians are burdens: not only are they powerless to help the people who made them, but those people expend energy trying to care for and protect them, to the point where they get carried into captivity.

What a contrast with God: He carries us, sustains us. Where the Babylonians end in captivity, Israel (and us) who have been in captivity for a time because of not cooperating with God, will be rescued.

God goes on in this chapter to say that nothing will thwart His purposes, and that He will do what He planned: including “I will grant salvation to Zion, my splendour to Israel.” (Isaiah 46:13b)

Idols burden the people; God’s people are a burden He faithfully carries. People can’t even keep their idols safe; God keeps His people safe. Idols come to a bad end and the people get dragged along; God promises a good end for His people, guaranteed by His own integrity and power.

Now… how many lifeless things have I poured my treasure into and tried to bring to life and lug around? Plans, attitudes, dreams that aren’t from God or for this time?

Father, please forgive my wayward spirit. I get distracted, or I pick up junk to carry. Please help me recognize anything I need to take out of my pockets and dump at the side of the road. Help me rest in You as You sustain me. Help me trust Your leading and value You. Thank You for valuing me.

Our song for this week is “To the Only God“, from the Glory Revealed CD, lyrics by Chris Tomlin, lead vocals by David Crowder and Shane & Shane.

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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