Written to Jacob or Israel as a nation.
Thus says the Lord the King of Israel and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; "I am the first and the Last, and there is no other God besides Me."
7 And who is like Me? Let him proclaim it and declare it; yes let him recount it to Me in order, from the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming and the events that are going to take place.
8 Do not tremble and do not be afraid; have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And are you not my witnesses. Is there any other god besides Me, or is there any other Rock? I know of none.
9 Those who fashion a graven image are all futile (no matter what that image may be), and their precious things are of no profit; even their own witnesses fail to see or know, so that they will be put to shame.
10 Who has fashioned a god or cast an idol to no profit?
11 Behold; all his companions will be put to shame, for the craftsman themselves are mere men. Let them all assemble themselves, let them stand up, let them tremble, let them together be put to shame.
12 The man shapes iron into a cutting tool, and does his work over the coals, fashioning it with hammers, and working it with his strong arm. He gets hungry and his strength fails; he drinks no water and becomes weary.
13 Another shapes wood, he extends a measuring line; he outlines it with red chalk. He works it with planes, and outlines it with a compass, and makes it in the form of a man, like the beauty of a man, so that it may sit in the house.
14 and takes a cypress or an oak, and raises it for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants a fir and the rain makes it grow.
15 Then it becomes something for man to burn, so he takes one of them and warms himself; he also makes fire to bake bread. He also makes a god and worships it; he makes a graven image and fall down before it.
16 Half of it he burns with fire; over this half he eats meat and roasts a roast, and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says "aha! I am warm, I have seen the fire."
17 But the rest he makes into a god, his graven image. He falls down before it and worships; he also prays to it and says, "deliver me, for thou art my god".
18 They do not know, nor do they understand, for He has smeared over the eyes so that they cannot see and the hearts so they cannot comprehend.
19 No one recalls, nor is there knowledge or understanding to say, " I have burned half if it in fire and also have baked bread over its coals. I roast meat and eat it. Then I make the rest of it an abomination. I fall down before a block of wood!
20 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?"
Romans 1:19- 28
Because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
21For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but became fultile in their speculations, and their foolish hearts was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise they became fools.
23 and exchanged the Glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of the birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their heats to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them.
25 For they exchanged the Truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the creator who is blessed forever. Amen
26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural
27 in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their own desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer. God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things, which are not proper...
Isaiah speaks of the ridiculousness of a felled tree, which is split into logs, and part of one log is used as cooking and heating fuel. The rest of the faggot (a piece of wood for burning) is carved into a Molech, or Diana, or an Artemis, or a thing, which will be revered. Set in a prime location and spoken well of and a thing which will be addressed when sorrow comes or hard-times hit as a god to make things right. Well doesn't it seem ridiculous to you?
Yet Paul writes these affore mentioned versus tracing the downward spiral of a man who has made the discoveries of the sciences of the natural world and bending he examines with no thought for the Intelligent one who made what he is examining. Here we are in the supposed 6000 year, that is according to the Hebrew calendar which has been adjusted to take into account the time spent outside of Israel. This is the era of man the age of the Gentiles who shall trample over and the glory of Solomon or is it the hour of disaster when an angry God will rock the Earth with fire hail brimstone a rock as big as a mountain a rock that opens a pit that unleashes a bug nightmare the likes of which is non fatal yet untreatable and each encounter last for five months at a time?! As it is we have a new millennia on our hands according to the Gregorian the 2000th the year since Jesus was born. It is the second day or is it the third? Yet whether or not he will come in my lifetime or not He will come. And just as ridiculous as the man who uses half a block of wood to burn then carves the other half into a thing to be prayed to worshipped and venerated and item which represents a god of his culture or era and the God who Lives; is the church man who has been introduced to the God who Lives and then goes off after "something else" unimpressed by the meeting. The writers of the Old Testament had among their prophets a historian of sorts in the person of Daniel. He lived in the courts of Nebuchadnezzar, Nabonidus, and Belshazzar and saw the reign of Darius the Mede. IN the hey day of Nebuchadnezzar he records a dream of the tree which had nesting birds in ti and was felled for some reason and the stump was bound with a band of bronze. The King was really truly upset over the dream and Daniel had more bad news for this was a warning to the king that his arrogance and pride were about to take him on headlong collision with the glory of God. It was God who spoke it through the prophets that Babylon would come and take Israel captive for her adulteries against God, Nebuchadnezzar got where he was in order to have what was needed to take the nation of Israel. In doing his job God had blessed him with a dynastic rule of epic proportions. Now ol Nebuchadnezzar had gotten full of himself and believed he was solely responsible for all he had as the self made king of the world. Daniel's warning was that Nebuchadnezzar was going to be humbled for seven years as a beast in the field. A year passes and one day the old king is on the wall a wall similar to Jericho's wall thick enough that two chariots could ride abreast. Now wait wasn't this wall never to be rebuilt? Yet it was and with the loss of two sons of the builder. In fact I have to wonder if this is not the city of Jericho in Jesus day. If so, what a far cry from its former glory. But here is the king and he thinks to himself "my what a thing I have here. I am king of all I survey and I got there by my own hand!" " Yes indeed I built this city with my own might." And God got pissed. No sooner does this statement hit the air then Nebuchadnezzar get mind blowing proof that the God of Daniel is a real Living God! This voice out of heaven, out of a clear sky, out of nowhere speaks. It says, "seven years will pass over you as you are out in the field eating grass like the ox or cow and the dew having made the hair of your body long and the nails as claws, until you can acknowledge that I am God." So it is the man's mind snaps and he heads for the field and for seven years the kingdom is run in his absence presumably by Nabonidus. Until one day the king returns in his right mind clean and proper and proclaims the story of the last seven years and a proclamation that the God of Israel is the God of the land s of Nebuchadnezzar.
Now all this sounds trite and unrelated to the above sets of scriptures or is it? You see Nebuchadnezzars graven image was HIMSELF!
The wise fool's god was HIMSELF!
The god of the man in the ancient day was something he made up HIMSELF so in reality the graven image is HIMSELF.
Paul says this that in the endtimes men will be lovers of self, rather than lovers of God. But what does it mean to love God?
What does it mean to love a "significant other" and with a great passion and crush and "oh I wanna hold yer hand" and all that. What wont you give to her or him? What wont you do for her or him? To whom will you not talk about her or him? And when that person is near just how well can you "do" anything? Do you get a little goggle eyed, a little klutzy, a little unfocused, a little confused? Because you saw that one on the job or in the home setting? Well is this the way you treat Jesus? Is He actually a liability on the job when He shows up because He like the "other" is a welcomed distraction? But a distraction none the less? Is thinking of Him something that gives you and emotional ride? Does His Word do the same thing a love letter from that "other" does to his or her lover? Are you out of your everlovin' gourd with a quiet sort of madness to be with Him IN PERSON? When in the relationship with that significant other do you tremble at the thought of saying or doing something that will cause a break up? Do you feel the same about Him? To what lengths will you go to see to it that He is pleased with you?
Or are you content with the status quo?
Does this bother you?
Most American church folk will brush this off.
If it bothers you repent.
If it grieves you, but you know you meet up to His standard, congrats and keep the faith.