God among gods

Stephen Shaffer

READ : Habakkuk 1:1-11

. . . guilty men, whose own might is their god! (v. 11)

Everyone has a god. Whether we consciously worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob or another god (or none at all), everyone serves something. The English theologian William Perkins put it this way: “For look what a person loves most and cares most for and delights most in: that is his God.” Money. Status. Sex. Control. What we love and trust is what we actually worship, even if God’s name is on our lips.

The Chaldeans (Babylonians) worshiped their own strength. At the time of Habakkuk, they were the most powerful nation in the world. They had thousands of horses and chariots, hundreds of thousands in their army. They trusted their military might. They loved the power. The Chaldeans were “dreaded and fearsome” (v. 7), for life was cheap to them. Even if they did not actively worship strength, it was what they loved most and it was their god. The Lord was given no glory in their successes. They gave glory only to themselves. Such a kingdom, such a god, ultimately will not stand. Later Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Chaldeans, would proclaim that his kingdom came through strength, only to have God strip that kingdom away (Dan. 4:30-32).

Idolatry is just as prevalent today, even if we do not literally call the things we worship our gods. What we trust most is our god. The true God calls us to set aside our idols and cling to him.


Lord, help me to worship you and you alone. Amen.