Digging in Deeper: Isaiah 44:9

“All who make idols are nothing, and what they treasure benefits no one. Their witnesses do not see or know anything, so they will be put to shame.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

This is one of my favorite passages in Isaiah. Take a minute, click the link above, and read from here all the way through v. 23. I can’t read this section without chuckling a bit to myself at the sarcasm dripping from the pages. Most often, when we encounter idolatry in the Scriptures it is being condemned. Here it is mocked. Isaiah is flat out making fun of idolaters. So, why is this on my mind this morning? Because we have recently been treated to an example of what Isaiah was saying.

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Morning Musing: Deuteronomy 4:39

“Today, recognize and keep in mind that the Lord is God in heaven above and on earth below; there is no other.” (CSB – Read the chapter

Idol worship is silly. The idea of bowing down to some statue like that statue could do anything is ridiculous. Even bowing down to a statue like it represents some kind of meaningful power and that power could impact you is laughable. Right? Sure, if you live in a culture where monotheism has been the most fundamental worldview assumption for most of 1500 years. If you don’t, it’s not nearly so laughable as it perhaps seems. And, just because monotheism is one of a culture’s guiding assumptions doesn’t mean that idol worship goes away, it simply changes forms. 

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Morning Musing: Psalm 135:15-18

“The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands.  They have mouths, but do not speak; they have eyes, but do not see; they have ears, but do not hear, nor is there any breath in their mouths.  Those who make them become like them, so do all who trust in them.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

In the ancient world, idols were obvious.  Someone who worshipped an idol would often literally bow down before a statue.  He would make sacrifices before a big hunk of carved rock or wood or shaped metal.  They were things made by human hands.  Today…not so much.  But, just because idolatry is more difficult to spot doesn’t meant the reality of it is any different. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: 1 Corinthians 10:20

“No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God.  I do not want you to be participants with demons.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Wait, I thought Paul’s conclusion was that eating the meat that came from a sacrifice at one of the local pagan temples was not morally problematic?  Now it’s demonic?  What??

We actually get more clarity on Paul’s final position a couple of verses from now and there is no contradiction.  I’ll deal with that in a subsequent post.  What is worth reflecting on here is not Paul’s main point, but some of the broader implications for what he has said.  Most notably, that the pagan sacrifices were demonic.   Read the rest…