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Idols: What Can Fake Gods Do?

Isaiah   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  47:47
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Isaiah 41:21–29 HCSB
21 “Submit your case,” says the Lord. “Present your arguments,” says Jacob’s King. 22 “Let them come and tell us what will happen. Tell us the past events, so that we may reflect on them and know the outcome, or tell us the future. 23 Tell us the coming events, then we will know that you are gods. Indeed, do something good or bad, then we will be in awe and perceive. 24 Look, you are nothing and your work is worthless. Anyone who chooses you is detestable. 25 “I have raised up one from the north, and he has come, one from the east who invokes My name. He will march over rulers as if they were mud, like a potter who treads the clay. 26 Who told about this from the beginning, so that we might know, and from times past, so that we might say: He is right? No one announced it, no one told it, no one heard your words. 27 I was the first to say to Zion: Look! Here they are! And I gave a herald of good news to Jerusalem. 28 When I look, there is no one; there is no counselor among them; when I ask them, they have nothing to say. 29 Look, all of them are a delusion; their works are nonexistent; their images are wind and emptiness.

They Can’t Rehearse the Past

Isaiah 41:22 HCSB
22 “Let them come and tell us what will happen. Tell us the past events, so that we may reflect on them and know the outcome, or tell us the future.

They Can’t Evaluate the Present

Isaiah 41:22 HCSB
22 “Let them come and tell us what will happen. Tell us the past events, so that we may reflect on them and know the outcome, or tell us the future.

They Can’t Predict the Future

Isaiah 41:22 HCSB
22 “Let them come and tell us what will happen. Tell us the past events, so that we may reflect on them and know the outcome, or tell us the future.
If they could then, we could find security in them. They could guide us and direct us… but they can’t.
Daily I read a little thing called “Five things you need to know before the bell” almost always wrong.

They Can’t Perform Good

Isaiah 41:23 HCSB
23 Tell us the coming events, then we will know that you are gods. Indeed, do something good or bad, then we will be in awe and perceive.
Good would bring benefit to us. If an idol could do something that was lastingly beneficial, then it it would have worth.
By the way it is worth noting in this verse an assumption that humanity would know right from wrong.
This sense of “oughtness” is built into humanity, and a wicked people violate it.
Isaiah 5:20 HCSB
20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
It is a culture out of control that no longer knows up from down.

They Can’t Perform Bad

Isaiah 41:23 HCSB
23 Tell us the coming events, then we will know that you are gods. Indeed, do something good or bad, then we will be in awe and perceive.
If they could do either it might draw some respect. There would at least be dread and fear of a “god” that could cause harm.

They Lack Reality

Isaiah 41:24 HCSB
24 Look, you are nothing and your work is worthless. Anyone who chooses you is detestable.
Nothing- non existent. A symbol with no substance.

They Lack Ability

Isaiah 41:24 HCSB
24 Look, you are nothing and your work is worthless. Anyone who chooses you is detestable.
Some people idolize a person that can do nothing for them. I’ve met people who seem to idolize a particular translation of the Bible, or their particular theological bent. Did you know a Bible will do nothing for you if your don’t open it and read it.
Some people idolize things.. Things that decay and fall apart. Things that as soon as they are made, the maker is looking to make a new and improved model. Things are great tools, but poor gods.
Worthless

They Attract the Wrong Crowd

Isaiah 41:24 HCSB
24 Look, you are nothing and your work is worthless. Anyone who chooses you is detestable.
Offensive (This is how God views anyone who would follow an idol.)

God Has All Power

Isaiah 41:25 HCSB
25 “I have raised up one from the north, and he has come, one from the east who invokes My name. He will march over rulers as if they were mud, like a potter who treads the clay.
(Contrasted with their lack of power. He raised up Cyrus)

God Has Predicted the Future

Isaiah 41:26 HCSB
26 Who told about this from the beginning, so that we might know, and from times past, so that we might say: He is right? No one announced it, no one told it, no one heard your words.
Therefore we can put our trust in Him to keep us secure

God has Evaluated the Present

Isaiah 41:27 HCSB
27 I was the first to say to Zion: Look! Here they are! And I gave a herald of good news to Jerusalem.
What Isaiah is doing is contrasting a worthless man-made object someone decided to call a god, versus the God who is actively involved in the world He has made, and is loving and kind toward those who have trusted in Him.
He has given them good news, and called them to spread the good news. JUST LIKE HE HAS US!

God Has Won the Challenge

Isaiah 41:28–29 HCSB
28 When I look, there is no one; there is no counselor among them; when I ask them, they have nothing to say. 29 Look, all of them are a delusion; their works are nonexistent; their images are wind and emptiness.
This is a summary. Look at the idols.. Look at God. There is no comparison. He wins!!!
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