Word for Today: Isaiah 41

Isaiah’s time saw Israel in a serious love affair with idols.  In this chapter, the people are invited to give a defense for these illicit relationships:

21 “Present the case for your idols,” says the Lord.
“Let them show what they can do,” says the King of Israel.
22
“Let them try to tell us what happened long ago so that we may consider the evidence.
Or let them tell us what the future holds,
so we can know what’s going to happen.
23
Yes, tell us what will occur in the days ahead.
Then we will know you are gods.
In fact, do anything—good or bad!
Do something that will amaze and frighten us.
24
But no! You are less than nothing and can do nothing at all.
Those who choose you pollute themselves.

God calls to the stage those who are stealing His people’s affections.  Show off!  Give a display of your power!  He invites a pageant.  His rhetorical challenge makes His point: The people waste themselves in these quests.  In fact, it is worse than “waste”.  It is a pollution of the soul to give oneself to something with no value.

Statues of gold and wood aside, that last line should likely cause a pause for all of us.

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