What Profit is an Idol?

Illusions Modern Idolatry

More than 2,600 years ago, Habbakuk the prophet asked,

“What profit is an idol
__ when its maker has shaped it,
__ a metal image, a teacher of lies?
For its maker trusts in his own creation
__ when he makes speechless idols!
Woe to him who says to a wooden thing, Awake;
__ to a silent stone, Arise!
Can this teach?
Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver,
__ and there is no breath at all in it.
But the LORD is in his holy temple;
__ let all the earth keep silence before him.” (Hab 2:18-20)

The challenge still stands.

What profit is a house when mere mortals have erected it,
__ a wooden shell,
__ a perishable shelter?
Should this be treated as your permanent home?
Behold, it is overlaid with shingles and siding,
__ but there is no life in it at all.

What profit is a car when a mechanized assembly line has produced it,
__ a shiny metal box on wheels,
__ a temporary tool?
Is this worth the allegiance of your heart?
Behold, it is adorned with chrome and leather,
__ but there is no life in it at all.

What profit is a smart phone when human factories have manufactured it,
__ a flashy-but-fragile utensil,
__ a quickly outdated plaything?
Can this ultimately satisfy?
Behold, it is charged for a few hours and equipped with some clever apps,
__ but there is no life in it at all.

What profit are sports when so little of actual consequence depends upon them,
__ stadiums full of people,
__ hours spent in front of the television?
Do they deserve a place of prominence in your heart?
Behold, they distract and entertain for a moment,
__ but there is no life in them at all.

What profit is a healthy physical body if it houses a neglected and malnourished spirit?
__ It endures for seventy, eighty, maybe even ninety years,
__ but what then?
Have you not wasted your life?
Behold, the dust returns to the earth as it was,
__ and there is no life in it at all.

Woe to him who shapes his identity around trinkets.
__ Woe to her whose affections are stirred most deeply by trifles.

But the LORD is in his holy temple.
__ He is worthy of our heartfelt worship.
__ He is deserving of our absolute allegiance.
__ He is faithful, precious, and ultimately satisfying.
Let all the earth reverently submit to him.