Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD.
Isaiah 2:5 (NIV)
Read: Isaiah 2
Consider: Isaiah was willing to confront the people of Judah and Jerusalem with the truth about their position before God. It was unlikely to have been a welcome message, primarily because the Jews believed that, as God’s chosen people, they were in a unique position of blessing. They would have been accepting of Isaiah prophesying against the other nations around them, but surely he could not seriously speak such harsh judgements against them.
Isaiah speaks boldly of the true state of the nation. He points out several things to the people:
– they were full of superstitions from the east (2:6);
– their land was full of silver and gold – they were a wealthy nation (2:7);
– their land was full of horses and chariots – they had military strength (2:7;
– their land was full of idols – they worshipped what they had made (2:8).
Judah and Jerusalem at that time would have been seen to be a powerful, successful nation. While the Jews would have attributed their success to God blessing them, Isaiah sees the true state of the nation as being spiritually bankrupt, weak and not centred on God.
Many of you reading this post will come from nations that are seen to be powerful and successful in the world. The questions for us must be ‘Have we replaced God with materialism and military power?’, and ‘What are the idols in our society?’.
Isaiah clearly identifies the problem in Isaiah 2 as man’s pride and arrogance (see 2:9-18) and that they trust in their own abilities (2:22), rather than God.
For each of us we need to ask ourselves if we are truly dependent upon God, or are we replacing God with our own idols? In modern society our idols might not be statues or statuettes made of wood, stone or metal. Our idols will be those things we come to trust in more than God. Things like wealth and possessions, work, status, reputation, family and achievements. None of these things are bad in themselves. However, it is when we allow them to squeeze God out that the problems become evident.
Ask God to reveal to you what your idols are, what you have allowed to creep into your life and that now dominate your life to such an extent that God is effectively squeezed out.
Pray: Father, may we have the courage to confront our idols and to be willing to replace them with you. Amen