“Of what value is an idol, since a man has carved it? Or an image that teaches lies? For he who makes it trusts in his own creation; he makes idols that cannot speak. Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Come to life!’ Or to lifeless stone, ‘Wake up!’ Can it give guidance? It is covered with gold and silver; there is no breath in it.” — Habakkuk 2:18–19 (NIV)
We live in a culture that has denied God’s existence. Our culture believes that human intellect and reason can provide us all that we need to get through the issues of this life. Our society believes that a tolerant view of philosophical beliefs and life practices is what really provides us true freedom. Is this true? Can a society truly tolerate all philosophical beliefs and practices and still function? What if someone’s beliefs or life practices come into direct conflict with another person’s beliefs and practices? How does one address the conflict? Our society turns to itself for the answer. Today we turn to intellectuals, politicians and government to resolve the conflict. But how do they choose what view to uphold? If God doesn’t exist, then there are no moral absolutes. If there are no moral absolutes, then any decision ultimately is based upon human bias. What our society has effectively done is to turn to ourselves (where the problem is) to find an answer to the problem. When we finally decide on an answer, won’t we have effectively said that a culture cannot be truly tolerant of all beliefs and practices? The final decision reduces someone’s freedom.
“Of what value is an idol?” So, we get rid of God and become God in His place. We place ourselves in that place to decide what is right and what is wrong. Again, we (the ones who have the moral confusion/conflict) turn to ourselves to resolve the conflict. This is not freeing! It is chaotic! In this worldview right and wrong could change depending who is in control of the decision-making process. That being the case, we have not gotten rid of God for the freedom to believe and practice what we want. We have really exchanged a benevolent God for a human tyrant. We have given over the freedom we once had to human institutions (e.g., courtrooms) to tell us what we can believe and how we can live.
The truth of the matter is that there is only one way to have true freedom. That is to accept that we have a Creator who has set eternal truths (right and wrongs) that allow us to live freely and to not have a tyrant telling us otherwise. There is one other problem that we face when we do away with God and make ourselves God. Whom do we turn to for help when all hell breaks loose? When disasters strike and human atrocities break out, whom do we turn to for understanding and direction? To ourselves? What if we are the cause of the disasters or atrocities? What good are idols? They are no good. They will never speak of absolute truth and justice.
Thanks be to God that we live in a daily relationship with Him who is greater than we are. He is our rock and our fortress in times of distress and need.