The Stupid

Such stupidity and ignorance!
Their eyes are closed, and they cannot see.
Their minds are shut, and they cannot think.
The person who made the idol never stops to reflect,
“Why, it’s just a block of wood!
I burned half of it for heat
and used it to bake my bread and roast my meat.
How can the rest of it be a god?
Should I bow down to worship a piece of wood?”
The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes.
He trusts something that can’t help him at all.
Yet he cannot bring himself to ask,
“Is this idol that I’m holding in my hand a lie?”
“Pay attention, O Jacob,
for you are my servant, O Israel.
I, the LORD, made you,
and I will not forget you.
I have swept away your sins like a cloud.
I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist.
Oh, return to me,
for I have paid the price to set you free.”
Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done this wondrous thing.
Shout for joy, O depths of the earth!
Break into song,
O mountains and forests and every tree!
For the LORD has redeemed Jacob
and is glorified in Israel. (Isaiah 44:18-23)

The problem with worshiping false gods is that they are false: it is like believing a chain letter. You’ll not only not see the promised millions, you’ll lose what little you have. The Israelites had put their faith in stuff that didn’t exist. They had been conned. Trusting in charms, horoscopes, crystals and the like was foolish. They were going to get hurt and God didn’t want his people to get hurt.

Rather than trusting God who was reliable, people were willing to give up their time, money, and hope to things that were ephemeral. They looked to things that would fade away for solutions to eternal problems. Despite the Israelites’ stupidity, God had forgiven them. He stood ready and willing to rescue them from all their problems. He had taken care of all the details. All the Israelites had to do was take God’s hand. All that was left to do was to rejoice over God’s salvation. Everything had been fixed, there was nothing left to worry about.

God knows just how stupid we can be when it comes to sin: how easily we let it con us. So there’s nothing left to do now but to rejoice in the way out of our mess that God has provided.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm a deacon at Quartz Hill Community Church. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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