Summary: Do Americans worship idols? Isaiah 40:18-28 provides a powerful message against idol worship, the thinking that goes along with it, what causes it, and the solution.
Top 10 American Idols
18 To whom, then, will you compare God? 19 How can you compare anything like Him to an idol that is formed by a craftsman, overlaid with melted down gold, and decorated with chains of melted down silver? 20 If people are too poor to make such a contribution, they select wood that will not rot and find an artist who can make an idol that will not fall over. (All Bible text is from The Bible for a New Generation - www.bible4ang.com)
If you go to India, there are temples and shrines where you can go to see idols. If you go into a person's home, you will also find idols. Many countries are like this but America is not. Where are idols in America? There are none. Or are there?
What is an idol? a substitute for God
Ask the people to guess what the top ten American idols are.
8 collecting - stamps, art, antiques, cars
10 good luck items
Do you have any of these idols around the house?
What is your idol?
What does your idol provide for you?
How does you idol compare to God?
21 Do you not know? Have you not heard? Hasn't it always been told to you? Haven't you understood since the earth began? 22 He sits above the circle of the earth. Those that sit in the earth are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the sky like a curtain and spreads it out like a tent to live in. 23 He reduces leaders to nothing and makes the judges of the earth meaningless. 24 No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they thrown onto the ground, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they dry up. A storm blows them away like husks of grain.
What would a true likeness of God be like?
25 "To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?" says the Sacred One. 26 Turn your eyes to the sky and see who has created these things. He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of the greatness of his strength and his strong energy, not one of them is missing.
Why is it that people use idols?
Describe the law against idols. Exodus 20:4-6
27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and claim, O Israel, "My way is hidden from Jehovah. I have escaped from God's judgement"? 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? Jehovah is the eternal God, the Creator of the farthest parts of the earth. He does not get tired or fatigued. No one can fathom his understanding.
Why is it that people use idols? (look at what these verses said)
You say, "My way is hidden from God" (my way - not my idols, but the way you use your idol to replace God, the way you take the true benefits of God, push them aside and say your idol will provide those). You say, "God will not judge me" or "God does not care about my idol worship". You think that God has quit and left.
Idols are a substitue
Why do people make idols? because they don't want to wait
Explain waiting - in a business where the customer is king a waiter or sales clerk waits on the customer, a servant waits on his master, an employee waits on his boss, ordinary people wait on kings, even more so WE MUST WAIT ON GOD
Christians do not want to wait on God so they pull out their idols and use them.
What if a king's staff did not wait on him? One morning the king wakes up only to find that he has over slept. His clothes are not laid out. The bath is not ready. "James, James, where are you?" he yells. "Oh, I am sorry king," the valet calls from another room. "I got busy playing FreeCell and I lost track of time. I am half way through this game. Give me a five minutes and I will be in to help you." The king gets up, gets dressed, and goes down to the royal breakfast nook an hour and a half late. There on the table is a note, "We waited for thirty minutes but you did not show up. We are shopping at Walmart. Your breakfast is in the refrigerator. If we don't get back before you get there, help yourself." The king gets the food out of the refrigerator and cooks his own breakfast. Now he is two hours late. He walks down to the throne room only to find it locked. Local businessmen are lined up outside waiting to see the king. He goes over to the security office and all of the security guards are watching the latest episode of Big Brother. "When this episode is finished, we will get things opened up," they tell the king. His whole day goes like this because the king's staff have placed their own wants over the king's. They do not wait on the king. How can the king get anything done? Isn't this how Christians treat God everyday? We need to wait on God.