Links Daily Devotional

Powerless Things

Those who make [idols] will be like them, and so will those who trust in them. (Psalm 135:18, NIV)

bobble_arnieWe live in the age of the bobblehead, those cute plastic statuettes of well-known people whose replica heads rock to and fro on a spring in their neck. Here’s an Arnold Palmer bobblehead made a few years back and given out at a Champions Tour event. Yes, he’s leaning awfully hard on that putter!

Bobbleheads were never meant to be worshipped, but in a time where “graven images” are altogether foreign to us—in both the literal and figurative senses—these little collector’s items give us a recognition of what was going on in ancient times when people made images of wood and declared them to be God. Still, it’s an idea that seems as funny to us now as, well, a bobblehead.

Interestingly enough, idols were funny to God, too. Not funny in the ha-ha sense, but funny in the ridiculous sense. Who, he wanted to know in the mocking words of Scripture, would ever think to worship a thoroughly lifeless object?

The psalmist, like the prophets who also spoke against idolatry, made plain note: These were idols made with human hands. They could not speak, or see, or hear, or breathe. And yet, people worshipped them and prayed to them, expecting to get an answer.

God found this ridiculous. So do we.

Maybe.

You see, quite often all we have done is exchange idols of construction for idols of conjuration. We may not make images with our hands, but we certainly make them in our heads and hold them dear in our hearts. These are items of promise that cannot deliver.

An advanced degree.

A perfect figure.

A dream home.

A single-digit handicap.

Such things may hold cachet in the economy of the land, but three things speak against them. First, many have lived happy lives without them, or anything like them. Second, this land is not the land that matters; we cannot find value for these things in the eternal country. And third, they all carry potential for drawing our eyes away from God, in the short term and the long.

In Ezekiel 14:3, the LORD asked the prophet whether he should let men who held idols in their heart inquire of him at all. This is dangerous territory. Give your heart to lesser attentions and you may well lose the attention of God. Here is a place we must never go!

Jeff Hopper
July 27, 2015
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The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.