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September 19 Today’s Reading: Nahum 3-Habakkuk 3
Five Stark Contrasts
Men and women love to make gods; but the gods men make are not at all like our God, the one true and living God. Of all the imaginary gods men have concocted, none is less God-like than the god of modern day Christianity. The god of this age no more resembles the God of the Bible than a gnat resembles an angel. The god of this age is no God at all. As Moses put it, “Their rock is not as our Rock” (Deuteronomy 32:31). The god of this age is impotent before the mighty will of man. The Jesus of this age tries to save everyone, but has no ability to save anyone, without the assistance of man. The Holy Spirit of this age is nothing but an influence for good. Like Aaron’s golden calf, men call their god Jehovah; but the god of modern day, freewill works religion no more resembles the God of the Bible than Allah, the ancient moon god worshipped at Mecca, or the various phallic symbols worshipped by our forefathers.
Habakkuk described the overthrow of Jerusalem and the temple of Divine worship by Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldeans, and Israel’s 70 years of Babylonian Captivity. God’s prophet here told Israel that the Lord God would use base, pagan idolaters to chastise and correct His chosen. — The whole thing is a picture of Babylon, the great whore, described in the Book of Revelation, who makes the earth drunk with the wine of her fornications, the intoxicating mixture of freewill and works righteousness, by which men and women around the world make shame their glory, expose their nakedness, and uncover their foreskins, showing that they are uncircumcised in their hearts. Like all idolaters, all will-worshippers impute their power (their will) to their god (Habakkuk 1:11). But, sooner or later, either in mercy or in judgment, all shall learn that the triune Jehovah alone is God, just as Nebuchadnezzar did.
You will remember that when Nebuchadnezzar attributed his greatness and his power to his god in Babylon, the Lord God almighty turned him into a lunatic and a grazing animal, until he learned to “praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment” (Daniel 4:37). Here are five stark contrasts between the Lord our God and all the gods of men.
1. The Lord our God, the true God, makes His worshippers, whereas all worshippers of idols make their gods. — He made us, and He made us his. He made us, and He makes us His worshippers (Psalm 100:3; James 1:18). The Lord God, the true and living God, makes His worshippers by a new creation of grace.
2. The true God is known only by self-revelation, only by the revelation of truth and grace in Christ, whereas all idols are dependent upon human teachers of lies (2 Corinthians 4:6; Galatians 1:15-16). What multitudes have been conned into a profession of faith in a helpless Jesus by snake-oil religious hucksters walking them down “the Romans’ road” path into Babylon! — “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!”
3. He who truly is God causes the work of all His servants, whereas all idols must be prompted by their worshippers. The will-worshipper prompts his god to act in response to his will. He moves him like the men of Ashdod moved Dagon. Our God, the true and living God, causes His chosen to live, causes them to trust Him, and inspires our worship of Him. In fact, we know that we cannot even worship Him, except He give us grace to do so (1 Kings 18:21-40).
4. The true God commands His position by the might of His own power and grace, whereas breathless idols are manipulated by the hands of men. — “Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.” Read about Dagon’s ups and downs (1 Samuel 5:1-5) and laugh at the helpless gods men make.
5. The true God performs His own mighty deeds and commands His worshippers to be still, whereas the idols of men are still while their worshippers busy themselves with their religious commotion. The whole religious world around us is full of religious commotion (Family Nights — Youth Rallies — Religious Plays — Ball Teams — Bake Sales — Hand Waving, Hip Swaying Praise — Religious Dialogue — Religious Debate — Defending Creeds — and Ceremonies Galore!) — “But the Lord is in His holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before Him!”
I say, with regard to all the will-worshipping pagans of our day, “Their rock is not as our Rock!” — Modern day religion makes the eternal God a pathetic failure! Preachers everywhere tell us that God is trying to save multitudes who are not saved. They tell us that God wants to do many things for us and with us that we will not let Him do. We are told that Christ died for all the people of the world in an attempt to redeem and save all men, but that all are not saved. Modern religion tells us that the Holy Spirit of God calls all men alike to Christ; but some men resist the power of His grace, while others allow Him to have His way. We are told that God has done all He can to save sinners, but some will not allow Him to save them.
One of these modern prophets of deceit was my first theology professor when I was an eighteen year old college freshman. He put his blasphemous opinions about God into print. This is what he said — “What is hell? It is an infinite negation. And it is more than that: hell is a ghastly monument to the failures of the triune God to save the multitudes who are there ... Sinners go to hell because God Almighty Himself could not save them! He did all He could, He failed!”
Such a god, such a pathetic, miserable failure is to be pitied, or mocked, but never to be worshipped or thought of as God!