Silent Idols, Speaking God

Stephen Shaffer

READ : Habakkuk 2:15-20

. . . let all the earth keep silence before him. (v. 20)

It is a common practice in North America to have a Christmas tree. Sometimes a live tree is chopped down and set up in the home and sometimes an artificial tree is purchased. These trees are decorated with colorful ornaments, tinsel, and lights. People work hard to make the trees look beautiful and their homes inviting. Yet, no matter how much we dress them up, under the tinsel these trees are still dead.

Likewise, no matter how much we dress them up, our idols are still dead. God’s response to the wickedness of the Chaldeans ends with a judgment upon their worship of idols. Some were expertly crafted out of metal and others carved out of wood. All of them were beautiful, but all of them were silent. For all their decorations, the idols could not speak. Only the living God speaks. Dead idols remain silent. The Chaldeans were rebuked for trusting what they had made with their own hands and for trusting idols that could not speak. When the true God speaks, all the earth remains silent.

We are tempted in our own lives to dress up our idols. We are experts at recasting sins as virtues. Pride becomes ambition. Judgment becomes realism. Uninterest becomes prudence. Yet even with all the tinsel, our idols remain silent and dead. Our sins don’t truly become virtues. Only the living God speaks, and we will do well to listen to his voice.


Lord, let me keep silent before you and hear your voice. Amen.