READ : Psalm 115
O Israel, trust in the Lord . . . (v. 9)
The challenge of Psalm 115, the third prayer offered at the Passover table of ancient Israel, is the call to choose the living God over the dumb idols of the world.
The comparison between the two could not be starker. The living God, enthroned in the heavens, is mindful of his people and reaches down with blessings for great and small. The idols of the earth, fashioned by human hands, cannot speak, see, hear, or smell. Their hands and feet are useless and, what is worse, those who fashion them and those who trust in them become like them!
On one level the threat of idols seems remote. Who in their right mind would pay homage to handmade figurines? But on a deeper level the psalmist’s critique is as important now as it was then. The idols of the ancient world have morphed before our eyes, at least in the West, and have become images of perfect bodies, ever increasing wealth and prosperity, and uninterrupted personal pleasure.
The threat of idol worship is made more fierce by its subtlety and leaves me wanting to pray daily a haunting line from a wonderful hymn by Isaac Watts: “. . . all the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to his blood.”
Give us grace, O God, to sacrifice our idols to your love!