“Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” ~Isaiah 46:4
God speaks through his prophet in Isaiah 46 about the foolishness of our idols. He shows his people the absurdity of putting our faith in idols. God’s people were worshiping Bel and Nebo, Babylonian and Canaanite gods, right alongside Yahweh. They were worshiping God, yes. But at the same time they were hedging their bets, covering their bases — political, cultural, agricultural — by including all the regional gods of the land, too.
Technically, it’s called syncretism. Practically, I’d call it materialism. Or consumerism. Or nationalism.
The picture painted in Isaiah 46 is graphic. God’s people are burdened by their idols, having to carry their idols, even as they’re marched off to captivity in Babylon for worshiping those idols. They’re being driven out of God’s Promised Land and they’re carrying their idols with them.
And God says, “Listen to me! I will carry you!”
You’re carrying these lifeless idols around, these idols that can’t save you or protect you. You’re carrying them. And you’re bent over and weakened by the weight. They make the idols and then are forced to carry them. And our Lord points out the insanity of that when he says, “I have made you and I will carry you!”
We’re all getting older. Our hair is going to turn gray. Or turn loose. Or both. The instability of the economy scares us. The tenuous nature of the world’s governments unnerves us. Wars threaten us. Healthcare seems to be increasingly lacking for us. Everything’s changing. Nothing much seems dependable. And Isaiah 46 shows us very clearly the utter foolishness and sin of trusting in politics and governments and technology and goods for our peace. In the midst of the change and the turmoil and the uncertainty that surrounds us and sometimes overwhelms us, our mighty God says:
“Remember this. Fix it in your mind. Take it to your heart. I am God. And there is no other. I am God. And there is none like me.” (46:8-9)
I’m still not real sure what “Howdy Week” is at Amarillo High. But Whitney and Valerie have been in costume for the past five days. It was 80s dress for Time Travel Tuesday. Suspenders and thick black glasses for NerdsDay. But today they’re sporting their dad’s old maroon and gold for Frat Friday. Eggleston will appreciate this picture of my two older daughters wearing Delta jerseys. Byrnes and Frost will make some immature comments about it that will betray their pathetic Sigma jealousies. When John-Tern sees it, he will laugh out loud.
But it just makes me proud.