Bible Reading: Isaiah 40:9-31

“To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him? An idol! A craftsman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and casts for it silver chains. He who is too impoverished for an offering chooses wood that will not rot; he seeks out a skillful craftsman to set up an idol that will not move.” (Isaiah 40:18-20)

The beginning of this passage in Isaiah proclaims the greatness of God and His incomparable nature. “Who has measured the Spirit of the LORD, or what man shows him his counsel? Whom did he consult, and who made him understand? Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding?” (Isaiah 40:13-14). 

The implied answer to these rhetorical questions is no one. Nobody compares to Jehovah, the one and only God over this universe. Therefore, all men should bow down before Him to serve and worship Him, for there is no one greater than Him. However, what do our hearts say about this matter?

Utilising sarcasm, Isaiah points out that our hearts say, “my idol compares with God’s greatness”, whether we realise it or not. It is a stark reality that when our hearts serve our own idols, we liken our idols to God’s greatness. In simple words, if our idol is wealth, we think that money is as great if not greater than God because it demands our attention more than God. Our idols are countless from pride, entertainment, friends, acceptance, church and ministry even! When these are at the centre of our hearts, we are saying all these things are greater than God because they are more worthy of worship than God. 

Introspect your heart. Are there any hidden idols? Ask God to help us straighten our hearts for Him alone. 

Many times we make excuses. I’ve tried to seek God and read His Word, but it feels empty, and God does not understand me. We moan, “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God” (Isaiah 40:27). But, “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable” (Isaiah 40:28). God is always at work, and He never leaves us. He understands us, and He is waiting for us to turn back to Him. 

At times, we might feel powerless, unable to seek God because our life filled with idols has overridden us. This is what Isaiah 40:29-31 says, “He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint”.

Are we willing to wait upon the LORD, meditating upon His greatness? Are we willing to be renewed as we give up our idols and turn to worship Him with all our hearts? There is strength when we surrender all to God. Although giving up every single idol in our hearts may make us feel powerless and helpless in the present, knowing that God is most worthy of worship and giving all to Him will give us unknown strength and joy forever.

To whom then will you liken God?

Lord, please shape our hearts to worship You and You alone. Forgive us for all our idols within our hearts. Purge us from loving sin and the world. We want to surrender our whole hearts to You. You know that we are weak and that we fall again and again. Give us strength to follow You. Hold our faith in You and make it grow. In Jesus’ name, amen.