Gods of Plastic and Circuits

Steven Rodriguez

READ : Habakkuk 2:18-20

Woe to him who says to a wooden thing, Awake; to a silent stone, Arise! Can this teach? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in it. (v. 19)

Yesterday I wrote that silence is an important part of worship. It's tempting to think that silence is always a passive thing, something that happens to us instead of something that we do. But sometimes silence can only be obtained with great effort. Sometimes it's a struggle to find any silence at all. There are so many gadgets and contraptions in our lives that continually distract us from the silence that allows us to hear God.

The uncomfortable truth is that we are afraid of the silence. It is so much easier to look for a god in the noise of distraction. But any god that we try to conjure out of the noise is an idol. If Habakkuk were writing today, he might have said, “Woe to him who says to a television, 'Awake!' to a silent phone, 'Arise!' Can this teach? Behold, it is a pile of plastic and circuits, and there is no breath at all in it.” So do what you have to do: turn off your radio, television, computer, and phone. Put away your magazines, newspapers, and junk mail. Tear down your technological idols, and follow Habakkuk's urging to keep silence before the Lord in his holy temple.


Lord, free me from distraction and give me the courage to encounter you in the silence.