Idol Factories


“He feeds on ashes; a deluded mind has led him astray,
and he cannot save himself or say, “Is not this thing in my right hand a fraud?”
Isaiah 44:20


Commandment number one: “You must not have any other god but me.”

It seems clear and simple, right? Shouldn’t be hard to follow. The only problem? In the words of John Calvin, “Humans are perpetual idol factories.” For some reason, we humans love to worship things other than (and addition to) the one true God of the Bible. So much so, that a cry rings out across the pages of scripture NOT to do this very thing.

One such cry is found in Isaiah 44. Beginning in verse 14, the LORD tells of a carpenter who cuts down a tree for wood. He cuts the log into two pieces. One half he uses to keep warm and cook food. The other half he carves into a lifeless idol to bow to and worship.

We look at this, of course, and snicker. We wonder how someone could be so foolish. Cook with half the log and then carve the other half and worship it? It makes no sense. Verse 19 echoes our confusion: no one has stopped to consider the foolishness of what they are doing.

Seems like a good lesson for Isaiah’s day, right? But what about us? What otherwise normal things in your life or mine have we made into false gods-lifeless, powerless, get us nowhere, make us feel good in the moment, substitute gods?

Don’t skip to conclusions too quickly. These idols may be things and people that are lovely, good, and useful in their own right-they’re just not God. Not even close.

Idol worship is a joke, so absurd it’s almost funny. What isn’t humorous is the futility in engaging in it. Let’s not let the joke be on us. Let’s ask God to expose anything, anyone, who we give our love, loyalty, time, energy, and passion to instead of, and more than, Him.



Set aside some time and ask God to show you any places in your life
you are giving your love, time, energy, devotion, and resources
to someone else or something else more than you are to Him.

Take a simple, measurable, clear next step in putting God first and foremost above
all other things and people in your life.


Nathan Burdick

When you say the phrase ‘Missionary to the Unreached’, Nathan is not the person you picture in your mind. He is not particularly boisterous, gritty or adventurous. In fact, for most of his life you would have been far more…

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