An idol is a skewed understanding of God. Often we replace what God has revealed in the Bible about Himself with what we think in the light of modern thought and experience. Idolatrous Israelites called their idols the LORD, just as believing Israelites did of the God of Abraham.
This passage is again chewing over big theme of God is GOD – There is no other.
The book-ends of the passage point us to the truth of who the Lord is. He is the first and the last. Besides Him there is no god! Remember Israel, the Lord formed you, He blots out your/our transgressions like a cloud.
These are wonderful songs that our heart can resound with.
“… Return to me, for I have redeemed you.”
“Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it; shout, O depths of the earth; break forth into singing, O mountains, O forest, and every tree in it!”
The meat in the sandwhich of today’s passage though is a discourse, a treatise on the folly of idolatry.
Two things among others can be noted here.
One. People are blinded in their building and worshipping and searching for idols.
V18 says, “They know not, nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand.”
So there is the Sovereignty of God at work here.
But notice, v19, there is also our Responsibility. “No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, ‘Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?'”
The second thing, which is very obvious, is that idols come out of the heart of man. We make them. They are forged in our broken hearts, come from our own design.
So let’s be encouraged to remember the folly of idols. And really, it’s a binary truth that we must grasp hold of – “Is there any God besides me?” says the Lord. No! “There is no Rock; I know not any.”
“I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.”
* King of Israel, Lord of hosts, Redeemer and Rescuer – We come before You today, please humble our hearts and break our spirits.
Please create in us clean hearts O God, that we might put away any idolatrous thought.
Aright our spirits within us, Father God, that we might hold fast and singular in our devotion to You. The one true God, who has saved us, there is no other.