American Idols (Isaiah 40-43, 44-48)

All who make idols are nothing, and the things they treasure are worthless.  Those who would speak up for them are blind; they are ignorant, to their own shame. (Isaiah 44:9)

There’s something kind of silly about idols, isn’t there?  The very way in which they come about makes them unbelievable.  A skilled worker fashions an idol out of some kind of precious metal or wood.  Of course, the same materials used to fashion the idol are also used for other things: to add fuel to a fire or to be made into jewelry.  No one stops to ask, “Is it really true that this same piece of wood I burned in a fire to cook my food could be a god?  And wouldn’t that god be angry that I burned part of him or her in the fire?”

This all seems ridiculous because we don’t typically have idols like that any longer.  Instead, we’ve progressed to the point where we don’t need the crutch of religion.  What ends up happening, though, is we trade one god for another.  Perhaps our idols aren’t made of wood or gold, but they’re made of microchips and LCD screens.  They’re made of fame and power.  Sometimes they’re even made of relationships and people who make us feel a certain way.  Once again, however, these are manmade things.  Does our sense of satisfaction truly come from a piece of technology that we paid for with our hard-earned dollars?  Does a relationship that we initiated actually serve as the sole source of our love?

There is a danger when we put anything in the center of our lives that isn’t the one, true God.  Everything else is a manmade thing that only serves as temporary fulfillment for the God-shaped hole that exists in our hearts.  Perhaps today’s idols are different than they were in Isaiah’s day, but they’re idols nonetheless.

Don’t spend your time worshipping those worthless things.  They will never satisfy long-term, and you will simply find yourself searching for something else to worship once your realize that the short-term satisfaction is over.

Father, help me not to have any gods in my life other than You.  I live in a culture that encourages me to worship all kinds of things, but I know those things simply draw me away from You.  Let me find my satisfaction in You alone.