April 21, 1985
by Alistair Begg
In part two of this four-part message on acceptable worship, we learn that God is not indifferent to the object of our worship. The Triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is the ONLY acceptable object of worship. God’s glory cannot be shared with idols, and must not be diminished by the use of man-made images.
1Hear the word that the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel. 2Thus says the Lord:
“Learn not the way of the nations,
nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens
because the nations are dismayed at them,
3for the customs of the peoples are vanity.1
A tree from the forest is cut down
and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman.
4They decorate it with silver and gold;
they fasten it with hammer and nails
so that it cannot move.
5Their idols2 are like scarecrows in a cucumber field,
and they cannot speak;
they have to be carried,
for they cannot walk.
Do not be afraid of them,
for they cannot do evil,
neither is it in them to do good.”
6There is none like you, O Lord;
you are great, and your name is great in might.
7Who would not fear you, O King of the nations?
For this is your due;
for among all the wise ones of the nations
and in all their kingdoms
there is none like you.
8They are both stupid and foolish;
the instruction of idols is but wood!
9Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish,
and gold from Uphaz.
They are the work of the craftsman and of the hands of the goldsmith;
their clothing is violet and purple;
they are all the work of skilled men.
10But the Lord is the true God;
he is the living God and the everlasting King.
At his wrath the earth quakes,
and the nations cannot endure his indignation.
11Thus shall you say to them: “The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens.”3
12It is he who made the earth by his power,
who established the world by his wisdom,
and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.
13When he utters his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens,
and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightning for the rain,
and he brings forth the wind from his storehouses.
14Every man is stupid and without knowledge;
every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols,
for his images are false,
and there is no breath in them.
15They are worthless, a work of delusion;
at the time of their punishment they shall perish.
16Not like these is he who is the portion of Jacob,
for he is the one who formed all things,
and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance;
the Lord of hosts is his name.