Ron Graham was called home on March 14, 2013. He began writing this commentary before his death and had asked me, Nathele Graham, to continue his service to our Lord by finishing what he began.
“He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it” (Isaiah 44:14).
Imagine if you will, a party of men and women at a campout. They’re sitting around a blazing campfire stoking the coals with what’s left of some very nice pieces of cedar, cypress, and oak wood. They are busy in their conversations and preparations of the evening’s meal.
“Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread…” (Isaiah 44:15).
As the fire gets hotter they comment to one another on how the evening has turned damp and cool, but how nice it is to be able to warm themselves by the fire simply by utilizing a few pieces of old dry wood. They continue to prepare bread and meat, perhaps roasting hot dogs and toasting buns. They use the burning wood embers to cook their evening meal all the while keeping warm and dry by the fire.
“He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire” (Isaiah 44:16).
Then the dinner is ready; they all partake of the meal, and are warm and full.
“But there remains a piece of wood sticking out of the embers which was not burned up in the fire. “And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, deliver me; for thou art my god” (Isaiah 44:17).
Suddenly one of the men grabs for the stick, pulls out his carving knife and begins to form the leftover oak into the image of a man. Once completed all the men and women at the campout join together in a semicircle around the newly formed image, they bow down before it, and begin to worship that small piece of oak now carved into the image of idol. Just a moment before this same stick was destined to become ashes. They speak to the carved image as though they were speaking to a living image requesting that piece of wood to bless them and their endeavors.
“They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand” (Isaiah 44:18).
Is the above scenario not the epitome of foolishness? Yet this is the course that has been taken by many individuals throughout history. People will go to any length to construct for themselves a god in lieu of worshipping the one true God of all creation. How can people become so deluded that they can’t see the foolishness of placing their faith and trust in a simple half-burned piece of wood? Many people today place their faith and trust in inanimate objects. Still, others will worship whatever it is that brings them what they perceive to be peace and joy. Even a moment of joy can lead a person to worship as their god that thing that brought them that one moment exaltation.
“They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed” (Isaiah 44:9).
It will profit these foolish people nothing as they bow their heads and worship graven images. They are their own witnesses to their own destruction. These idol worshipers haven’t the common sense to be ashamed of their own foolish actions. The God of all creation views these people as willfully ignorant.
“Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God” (Isaiah 44:6).
God makes it abundantly clear that He is the first and the last “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8).
All through the Bible we are told there is only one God and His name is: Jesus. And He is the Almighty─the first and last, the Alpha and Omega. But foolishness abounds and in these extreme last days it seems to be burgeoning at a phenomenal rate. There are many people who will worship anything but the one true God.
“And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? And the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them” (Isaiah 44:7).
This is a challenge put forth by the one true God of all creation. He says go ahead bring your god forward and let him make his power known to all. God says: “Let’s see your god tell the future of all creation.”
“Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? Ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? Yea, there is no God; I know not any” (Isaiah 44:8).
Sun god (Apollo), moon god (Allah), or created images such as birds, reptiles, snakes, as well as all inanimate objects have no spirit save the spirit of demons. God says try every spirit to see if they confess Jesus as the Christ.
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits where they are of god: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God:
Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of god: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world” (1 John 4:1-3).
None of those false gods and idols listed above will confess Christ as Savior and Lord. Yes, the spirit of antichrist has been around for a long time. It was already in the world when John wrote these words, and it is still causing much grief today.
What is the result of worshipping false gods and idols? Those who are caught up in idol worship sometimes seem so wise. But is that really the case?
“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of god into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen” (Romans 1:22-25).
God has given us the freedom to choose wisely and follow Him, or to be foolish and worship pieces of wood. We can see the result of this idol worship all around us. The worldly way of lusting after carnal desires is creeping into the lives of Christians. Instead of worshipping the Creator, it is the creature that is being worshipped, even by some who profess to be Christians.
“And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?” (Isaiah 44:19)
Those of us who know the truth should be pricked in our hearts as we watch these foolish people who can’t seem to come to the conclusion that what they worship is…nothing. It’s empty. On the other hand, Jesus is alive! He loves us and died for us. But our God is a jealous God. Take time to read through the 10 Commandments (notice they are not the 10 suggestions) found in Exodus chapter 20. God does not share His Kingdom, glory or Throne with demons or snakes, nor does He placate fools.
Make no mistake: It isn’t only images of creatures that are idols. Anything that holds a higher place in our life than God is an idol. Anything. Television, music, jobs, hobbies, the list goes on. There is absolutely no other God besides the God who created the universe and everything in it. He is the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob. He is the Messiah of Israel. He is the Savior of mankind. In the Hebrew He is Yeshua Ha Mashiach. He is our brother and He is our friend. He is Jesus the Christ. He is the only way of salvation. He is my God. Who, or what, is yours?
God bless you all,