March 7, 2023
Over the eons of Mankind’s existence, we have tried to explain that existence. Early Man knew God, the Creator of the heavens and Earth, but began to have doubts. Maybe that was too simple an explanation for their existing. Maybe they figured that there just had to be more to it than that. Whatever the reasoning, people tried to use their imaginations to explain existence.
So, they tried to practice those different ideas. They tried to put their ideas into practice to give some sort of order to their world. They began to imagine a more complex dynamic with gods they had to make up in order to make sense of their newly formed ideas. They apparently made them up as they went along. Oddly, those gods began to make sense to them.
It’s called circular reasoning.
One of the first formulas was to use their technological inventiveness to build the Tower of Babel. That was the first Biblical mention of Mankind’s idea of building stairways to Heaven. That didn’t work out so well for them then, and I say it isn’t work ing out well for us today- no matter how involved and “advanced” the technology has grown and presents itself to us.
Like babies, grownups often are distracted by shiny objects that jingle and jangle.
At one point- probably because their ideas were being frustrated, Mankind began to “call on the Lord.” However, they did not have the patience to wait nor the inclination to persevere for a response.
Stemming from that impatience, they continued to displease God the Creator, continuing to make up their own gods from their own ideas and explanations for existence in all its dynamics: an idol for the Sun, an idol for the Moon, idols for the Seasons, idols for the Harvest, idols for War, idols for Fertility, and idols that explained the Creation. Objects were forged to represent them. Idols could be seen, be touched, and so were more appealing than the invisible God. Almost all cultures and civilizations have had a plethora of phony gods they just decided to make up.
Isaiah 41:29 says quite plainly, “See, they are all false! Their deeds amount to nothing; their images are but wind and confusion.” Manmade idols don’t see, don’t hear, don’t speak, and yet some people have sacrificed their children in fire to “appease” these objects, things they have crafted with their own hands, imagined in their own minds, and served blindly without reward.
Now, here is the modern twist on our foolish pursuits of exchanging the truth of God for lies: “When we hear the word idol, we often think of statues and objects reminiscent of those worshiped by pagans in ancient cultures. However, the idols of the 21st century often bear no resemblance to the artifacts used thousands of years ago. Today, many have replaced the “golden calf” with an insatiable drive for money or prestige or ‘success’ in the eyes of the world. Some pursue the high regard of others as their ultimate goal. Some seek after comfort or a myriad of other passionate, yet empty, pursuits. Sadly, our societies often admire those serving such idols. In the end, however, it doesn’t matter what empty pleasure we chase after or what idol or which false god we bow down to; the result is the same — separation from the one true God." https://www.gotquestions.org/idol-worship.html
Now, simple traditions can be false gods, too. What are traditions? Merriam Webster has this definition: “an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (such as a religious practice or a social custom).” There is a problem with blindly holding onto either social or religious traditions. They too often lose their personal dynamic, they become performed by rote only, with little meaning- except that we, perhaps, are honoring our parents traditions that were passed down to them by grandparents and great grandparents all the way to some ancient ethnic heritage. Otherwise, we can give no explanation for why we follow them, even if they seem like a warm blanket on a cold day.
In the Christian religion, it no longer is a living, breathing. responsive activity. Faith has become a noun and no longer a verb. Some have described it as dead or extend the thought saying, “God is dead.” I can assure you from the changes He has made in my life, God is most certainly not dead.
I was dead. God revived me.
You must understand that the inverse might be the reality you are living in. You might be “dead to God” just like everyone else. The Bible explains it that people are dead in their sinful human nature and therefore separated from God. He is not apparent in your life, because you haven’t sought to invite Him in. Well, you might consider what Jesus said: Jesus rebuked the religious leaders “…you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition…” Matthew 15:6 (NLT). Jesus continued, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’” Matthew 15:7–9 (NLT) and “For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.” Then he said, “You skillfully sidestep God’s law in order to hold on to your own tradition.” Mark 7:8–9.
Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (excerpt from John 3:1–22).
It might be time to consider Jesus.