In that day people will look to their Maker and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel. They will not look to the altars, the work of their hands, and they will have no regard for the Asherah poles and the incense altars their fingers have made. Isaiah 17:7-8
What is the first thing we do when we receive bad news? Do we look to our Maker and turn our eyes to the Holy One? Or do we look to our resources to provide help, comfort or escape? Do we pick up the phone and ring a friend or family member. Do we pour ourselves a drink, take a pill or eat to dull our pain? Do we lose ourselves in computer games, television shows or a book? Or maybe we bury ourselves in our work. Whatever we turn to tells us what we’re worshipping.
These days idols come in many different guises and are hard to recognise because in moderation they’re a good thing. Sharing burdens with our friends and relatives is healthy. Eating and drinking are fine in moderation. Watching television or reading a book are good ways to relax. Working hard is admirable. Yet these good things can become idols if we rely on them for support or expect them to meet our needs.
Isaiah’s prophesy explains the point of this coming invasion is to make God’s people look to him. He allows suffering so that people turn to him, without relying on their self-sufficiency and acknowledging their own resources aren’t adequate.
On the cross, God showed us how much he was prepared to reach out to us. With great love, he forgives our self-sufficiency and allows whatever he must so we will look to him. He alone is the all-sufficient One.