Reading God’s Story: A Chronological Daily Bible (Holman, 2011), Week 21, Day 1
Idols are made by man, while man is made by God.
God cannot be seen with the naked eye, though metaphorically He has a mouth that speaks, ears that hear, hands that are outstretched, and feet that rest upon the footstool of earth. He is unbound by time and limitations. Idols, however, are made by human hands. The Psalmist describes the idols made by human hand and worshiped by the human heart,
“Their idols are silver and gold, made by human hands.
They have mouths but cannot speak,
eyes, but cannot see.
They have ears but cannot hear,
noses, but cannot smell.
They have hands but cannot feel,
feet, but cannot walk.
They cannot make a sound with their throats” (Psalm 115:4-7)
God, from the very beginning of the Bible’s narrative, is relational. He speaks to Adam and instructs him in the garden. He sees Adam and Eve hiding. He hears them excuse their disobedience when He confronts them. He promises Adam redemption. He slays an animal to cover the couple’s nakedness. He walks with Enoch, then translates him to heaven. He sees that the wickedness of man is great and speaks to Noah regarding His plans. He smells the aroma of Noah’s sacrifice and is appeased. He speaks to
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. He, the God of Israel, is relational.
Those who live outside of God’s presence create a god or gods that resemble themselves, “Those who make them are just like them, as are all who trust in them” (Psalm 115:4-8). Images with a mouth that cannot speak; eyes that cannot see; ears that cannot hear; noses that cannot smell; hands that cannot feel; and feet that cannot walk. Images that represent their own spiritual reality: blind, deaf, dumb, and powerless. Instead of turning to the true God whom they may know, they create a mute idol–a reflection of their own inability to commune with the Most High God.
Therefore, the Psalmist urges Israel to trust in the LORD (115:9,11). Because He is the Maker of heaven and earth, He will help His people, He will shield them (115:10,11).
The God of the Bible is incomprehensible; no human could ever do Him justice, and no idol could ever capture His majesty, wisdom, and grace. Only as He reveals Himself through His Word and His Son can we even dare to know the Living God.
Questions from today’s reading (Psalm 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118):
- What does the LORD promise to be and to do for those who trust in Him?
- What affect does God’s presence have on creation?