Pastor Steve Ellison
Our trip through the Bible in chronological fashion examining the questions asked of the creature by the Creator finds us still in the book of Isaiah. God continues to press home the point that He alone is God, there is no other. Isaiah 44:9-20 is a clear attack against those who would be so foolish as to break the second of the Ten Commandments by fashioning an idol with their own hands. All their building is futile, and will be brought to shame.
Isaiah 44:12-17 depicts skilled craftsmen who work diligently and intelligently to produce useful tools, etc. However, each of them makes a grave error. One seems to believe that his skill and strength will continue without rest or nourishment. Another makes the mistake of using his skills and knowledge to create an inanimate object which he then worships. The creator worshiping that which he created is foolishness to the absolute degree. Tucked away in these verses is also the observation that the man creates his graven image to worship in his own image. Once again, that is foolish. One ought to worship one greater than himself, not worship that which is nothing more than a poor representation of self.
Isaiah 44:18-20 brings the passage to a climax, They do not know, nor do they understand, for He has smeared over their eyes so that they cannot see and their hearts so that they cannot comprehend. No one recalls, nor is there knowledge or understanding to say, “I have burned half of it in the fire and also have baked bread over its coals. I roast meat and eat it. Then I make the rest of it into an abomination, I fall down before a block of wood!” He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has turned him aside. And he cannot deliver himself, nor say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?” (NASU) The Creator (God) will eventually allow the sin and rebellion of the creature (man) to run its course. God will give man over to his own desires; thus, his heart will be hard, refusing to believe the truth. The foolish, foolish man uses the materials for very plain and ordinary purposes, then if there is any of it left over, he worships it. This stupid man has trusted an inanimate object to superintend his life.
The conclusion of the matter is this: the idolater has reached the point that he cannot extricate himself from the deception because he cannot even formulate the question as to whether or not he has been deceived. “Is there not a lie in my right hand?” That question should stop all of us in our tracks. We are being called to examine our own lives to see if we have created a god in our own image. The idol created by the craftsman is indeed a lie. It is not what it pretends to be. It cannot perform what it claims. Habakkuk 2:18 tells it plainly, What profit is the idol when its maker has carved it, Or an image, a teacher of falsehood? (NASU) The idol is a teacher of lies. Surely, today we are more advanced than to create false gods. No, we do create them, just not usually out of material objects. But we do create false gods made in our image. We refuse to worship the God who revealed Himself in the Bible. Instead, we worship a different god, one we create. Just like the skilled craftsman planed and hammered to fashion an object in the image of a man, we whittle away the God of the Bible into one like us. Then we worship that disgusting creation. Nothing could be more awful than that.