MAN MADE “GODS”
Text: Isaiah 44: 8-20
Introduction: Man’s greatest sin is still to worship things which he himself has made. Acts 17: 22-24 “Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;”
God’s were once more plentiful than today. Among the scores of gods who have flourished, man has created many more gods, but they all die sooner or later like the men who created them.
Man does not need to make gods, for there is one God who has made man. Yet this simple acknowledgment of faith doesn’t seem to be enough for great numbers of people.
1 Kings 18: 17-20 “And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim. Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table. So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel.”
The gods which tried to compete with Israel’s Jehovah had the same characteristics of the “gods” which many moderns worship.
1) They were Created by Skill (v12-16):
The smith and the carpenter represent the various skills employed in manufacturing god’s of men’s choosing. Man loves the product of his own hands. Creative, he is able to bring an idea into tangible form. Whether it be a painting, a bridge, or a building, he fashions reality from a dream. It is not surprising that he begins to worship the pride of his handiwork.
If man can bake bread and roast meat to satisfy his physical hunger v15-16, he believes that he ought to also be able to make a god which can satisfy his spiritual needs.
Skill should be developed to its highest potential for the service of mankind and the glory of God; but it must never be worshiped as divine within itself.
2) They were Created for Self (v17) :
Man’s whole purpose is to create something he can control, to fashion a divine servant for his personal needs. We can become guilty of idolatry ourselves when we thus engage God. If we do not want to serve Him, but want Him to serve us, we are trying to make Him a god for our own utility and not the object of our love and worship.
Every petition of the Christian should be carefully expressed in the name of Christ and for His sake, not just in vocabulary, but in meaning and motivation. Even the most ardent request should be conditioned by, “Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.”
3) They are Created in Futility (v20) :
The strange paradox of idolatry is the emptiness it leaves. Men create gods because they fear the spiritual vacuum (spring festival). However, instead of accepting the fullness of God’s presence, they fill themselves with the presence of fultility, gods which vanish as bubbles burst when pricked by the tiniest pin. They “feedeth on ashes” which never satisfy or nourish.
Man cannot always have a visible, tangible object to worship and talk (pray) to. What will he do when he is alone with his soul? Where will he turn when the void becomes unbearable?
Which would you rather have – the assurance of a God who made you in His image, or the hope of a god whom you have made in your image? Are you willing to accept God as He is, whether He pleases always or not? Are you ready to conform to Him, rather than asking Him to conform to you? Your sincere answers will determine whether you worship the true and living God or the one of your own making.
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