Psalm 115 ~ Deaf, Dumb and Blind

imageOur God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. But their idols are silver and gold, made by human hands. Ps 115:3-4

Despite the historical and experiential evidence that idols are powerless over our lives, humankind has continued in their manufacture throughout all of our existence. These statues are meant to assure us of a god’s presence and provide a focal point for our worship. A God who doesn’t take corporeal form requires faith to entrust, an effort that we would often prefer to avoid.

Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them. (v8)

Because the idol cannot reveal himself nor communicate his attributes, we are left to invent them. Our default character matches our own. As we explore the theology of our idols we find the worship requirements malleable as the attributes adapt to our fallen nature. Low demands and a conciliatory spirit become the hallmark of the deaf, dumb and blind objects.

The highest heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth he has given to mankind. It is not the dead who praise the Lord, those who go down to the place of silence; it is we who extol the Lord, both now and forevermore. (vv 16-18)

Idols ultimately fail. The moment comes when the answers they provide no longer fulfill their intended design. We are left to confront the reality of the omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient God who can, and does, answer our prayers and petitions. Only, that is, when our eyes are pointed in the right direction.

Grace and peace to you…

image ha! Graphics and Design

The Two Sides of Gideon II

imageNo sooner did we admire Gideon’s faithfulness to the covenant in turning down the monarchy then he seems to forget it in whole. The author of Judges writes in great detail now, hinting at the trouble to come as Gideon strikes an off-the-cuff request. “Give me an earring out of your spoils.” So, he’s trying to enrich himself as their leader. We aren’t shocked by this because of our modern perspective of those who govern us. The Israelites, acting out of their gratitude for being freed from the Midians, quickly respond, spreading out a cloak and filling it with golden ornaments and jewelry.

In yet another unexpected turn, Gideon takes the gold and fashions an ephod out of it. Whether we read this as a part of the high priest’s garments or a pagan idol, the effect is the same. Gideon has created an item of worship that draws the immediate adoration of the Israelites. We read that they prostituted themselves to the idol and, for at least a moment, the covenant was forgotten. The downward spiral  gains speed quickly.