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__ a quickly outdated plaything?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.

About Jason Hardin

Jason lives in southern Indiana with his wife Shelly and their three daughters. He works with the Charlestown Road church of Christ. Jason has written three books and a variety of workbooks. He's a fan of photography, baseball, mountains, wildlife, BBQ, banana pudding, and coffee. You can contact him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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