“He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. Then it becomes fuel for a man… And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it” (Isaiah 44:14-17)
Throughout history, people have made and worshiped idols. These could take many different forms, but in the Old Testament we frequently read about wooden statues, pillars or trees that were worshiped instead of the true God, or of people sacrificing to idols “under every green tree”.
On the one hand, biblical prophets mock these practices. Bowing down before a block of wood that you shaped into a nice figure, clearly shows a lack of knowledge and discernment. As Jeremiah exclaims: “They are both stupid and foolish; the instruction of idols is but wood!” (Jeremiah 10:8).
On the other hand, serving idols instead of God is a very serious sin. Despising your Creator and worshiping a piece of wood instead, clearly evokes God’s wrath. And this is not limited to the worship of wooden figures or special trees. It involves everything we deem more important than God — be it money, sex, our career, happiness… The Lord doesn’t accept a ‘second place’ in our hearts. He describes himself as “a jealous God” who deserves and demands our full devotion.
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