God vs gods.
“For there is no other God but me, a righteous God and Savior. There is none but Me. Let all the world look to me for salvation.” – Isaiah 45:21-22 NLT
There is only one God, and He makes that fact very clear to the people of Judah and Israel. He lets them know that He is not just one of many options. He is not just another deity from which to choose. He alone is God and there are no competitors. He alone created the universe. He is all-powerful and one-of-a-kind. He not only made every individual Israelite, He chose them to be His people. He even uses those who don’t know Him or believe in Him as His tools to accomplish His will. Yet since the fall, mankind has found it necessary to make their own gods as replacements or substitutes for the one true God. These man-made deities are deaf, dumb, blind and powerless to offer any support whatsoever to the very ones who made them. “Some people pour out their silver and gold and hire a craftsman to make a god from it. Then they bow down and worship it! They carry it around on their shoulders, and when they set it down, it stays there. It can’t even move! And when someone prays to it, there is no answer. It can’t rescue anyone from trouble” (Isaiah 46:6-7 NLT).
Idle idols. Powerless gods. Pseudo saviors. How ridiculous it sounds to place your trust in them when you consider the God of the universe is offering you a chance to have a relationship with Him. But how easy it is to turn to someone or something else besides God when we’re in need or trouble. How quick we are to find substitutes for God when we need direction or comfort. Of course, our gods are more sophisticated than wooden totems or golden statues that sit on a mantle in the living room. Our gods are more subtle. They take the forms of stock portfolios or resumes, plasma screen high-definition TVs, alcohol or drugs, sex and success. We worship everything from movie stars and musicians, politicians and pastors, to materialism and patriotism. We worship our success, significance, self-autonomy, cars, clothes, kids, money, health, houses, popularity, power, and possessions.
But let’s just say we don’t struggle with the worship of things other than God. What if idols are not our problem? Isaiah goes on to mention another problem we might suffer from: “What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be?’” (Isaiah 45:9 NLT). Questioning God. How many times have each and every one of us been guilty of that one? We question God about all kinds of things, from the shape of our bodies to the circumstances in which we find ourselves. We encounter a rough spot in life and immediately start demanding that God explain Himself. We want answers. We want changes and we want them NOW! We give Him our demands and our preferred list of solutions, then impatiently wait for Him to do what we want done. But God says, “Do you question what I do for my children? Do you give me orders about the work of my hands? I am the one who made the earth and created people to live on it. With my hands I stretched out the heavens. All the stars are at my command” (Isaiah 45:11-12 NLT).
Who are we to question God? What right do we have to give God advice? Where do we get the idea that we, the created, can tell the creator what’s best? There’s only one thing worse than making a god of our own choosing. It’s trying to make God conform to our choices. Demanding that God operate according to your standards is no less offensive than making your own god. Because that is exactly what you are attempting to do. But our God doesn’t work that way. He will not conform. He will not be controlled, cajoled, conscripted or coerced into doing OUR will. He is God and He alone knows what is best. We don’t get to make God. He made us and He has a plan for us. “I will be your God throughout your lifetime — until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you” (Isaiah 46:4 NLT).
Father, You are not only my creator, You are my redeemer and sustainer. You are one-of-a-kind and will not be forced into a mold. You do not need my input or list of demands. You know what is best for me. You have a plan in place for me. There is nothing about me that escapes Your notice or falls outside Your control. I need to learn to trust You. I need to learn to submit to You. Your will regarding me is perfect. Forgive me for the many times I have questioned You. Who am I to doubt You? Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men