I have a little story. Very few have heard it. I hope you’ll take a minute or two to read it. By the way, I guess I should tell you, it’s fiction. As an author, my stories are almost all fiction.
It is an interesting fact that fiction stories can sometimes illustrate things even better than true stories. Jesus frequently used stories we call parables. He was expert at it. Sorry. I am not one bit as good at stories as He is. I’m not even very good at writing. I’m sure most have figured that out by now.
Nonetheless, I’m writing this story because I do believe it needs to be told. It needs to be told over and over until all have heard it, or something similar.
It seems a number of decades ago; a man was stranded on a desert island, sort-of like “Robinson Caruso.” Only my story isn’t as good. I’m no Daniel Defoe. On the other hand, it will not take as long to read.
I’m not going to explain how the man was stranded. I don’t know. It matters not anyway.
What really matters is what he did after he was stranded. The first thing he managed to do was to chop down one many trees on the island. It had some kind of fruit on it which provided him food.
Then, he chopped the tree into two halves. With one half, he built a fire as it was it beginning to cool.
The other half of the log, he carved into an idol. The night was long and he simply had so little to do in the dark. He certainly didn’t want o go wondering off in the night where some dangerous animals might attack him.
So now, from the same tree, he had both warmth and a god.
He sat the god up and saw how nice it looked. So he began praying to the large piece of wood. He asked the wood to save him from his predicament. He fell asleep while praying.
In the morning, the fire was just embers and the idol remained. It said nothing. It saw nothing and it did nothing. As would stand to reason, it just sat there like… well, like a big piece of wood.
Some might say the man was stupid. On the other hand, some would say my story is stupid. There is simply no way a person can express how ludicrous it is to expect a piece of wood to do anything but sit there. Well, if the tide came up high enough, it just might float away. That might be the best end of this little story.
Those of you that are Bible readers might have figured out that I borrowed parts of the story, I mean besides the Caruso thing. I would suggest that you read the passage in the Bible, Isaiah 44:9 to 20. If you don’t want to; or if you don’t have the time, let me quote one chapter from it, verse 10:
Who but a fool would make his own god – an idol cannot help him one bit.
It seems so casual to the most obvious observer that a living gods cannot be made from wood, or gold, or silver, or bronze. My question is, why do men keep trying?
I have heard a number of preachers say that we don’t see anything in the Bible about idols until after the flood. Personally, I remember the mention of idols while Jacob is running from his deceptive father-in-law.
Of course, idols might have existed before the flood, but, for a few reasons I suspect not.
As an aside, I might mention, the first two commandments deal with idols. The first says that we are not to have any other gods before God. The second, that we should not make idols and that we are not to worship them.
If worshiping idols is so stupid, why is it that people do it? Just what prompted God to include the first two commandments? I mean, men are reasonably intelligent beings. Why should any of us be so dumb that we think we can form things with our hands that can hear us and do things for us? Why is it that people think that the sun, moon and stars can do one single thing for us?
They cannot hear or see. They certainly have no empathy or sympathy for us…or any emotion. In the case of our little story, if the stranded man must rely on the idol to be rescued, he’s going to have to wait a long time. He would be better off using the thing as a floating device and try for another nearby island.
Yet we find that mankind has worshiped idols on every continent but Antarctica. (Maybe there too. Maybe before the flood.) And, oh yes. Some have worshiped volcanoes, tides and the earth itself. Indeed, the modern green earth movement is a form of earth worship—mother earth, really?
In order to really understand this desire for men to worship idols, we really need to go back to when Cain’s offering was not accepted by God and why it was rejected. This gave me problems for a long time, until I really understood it. Cain was not satisfied with the religion God set up. He had requirements for the offering and Cain decided to ignore it. You see, he wanted to start his own religion.
From that day until now and it will continue on, man has never settled for the way God set things up. Throughout known history, men have been trying to set up their own religion, which, of course, did not include the one true God.
As I have said before, manmade religions have an advantage. Man gets to set up all the rules. Naturally, in the past, many of these rules were for the benefit of those making the rules, like multiple wives. This can easily take me off on dozens of rabbit trails. However, in this case, it is the concept I want to center on. I mean all the rabbit trails are different and yet they’re all the same.
Unlike proper worshiping of God, men following manmade religions end in one thing, death, eternally and forever. I believe the redundancy serves the purpose to drive the point home.
Now let’s change the story a little. Let’s pretend he is stranded on the island for a year or so. Someone comes along in a ship or yacht and finds him. He’s saved, right? Wrong. He does something else that’s really dumb.
The island is surrounded with really hungry sharks and the man wants to swim the first ten miles. That way he can brag that he helped with his salvation.
I don’t think the man will make it ten miles. I don’t think he will make it one mile. Besides, he will slow the vessel, which will have to wait for the would-be survivor.
Of course, no one would do something so stupid. Yet, every day people do something far worse. They try to help Jesus Christ with their salvation. They like the idea of swimming the first 10 miles (or add their good works toward their salvation) and as such, they destroy all chances of their salvation. It demonstrates a lack in faith that Jesus ability and desire to do it all. Faith alone is the only thing that Jesus will accept. Everything else is as filthy rags. Do you really want to offer God filthy rags? That’s dumb
My hint to one and all, don’t try to help Jesus. He can do it without your help. You can’t and He will not accept anything you have to offer. God only accepts the blood sacrifice of Jesus’ blood for your salvation. If you try to add to it, you will nullify it. More than that, why should you even try? It is far more ridiculous than our stranded man relying on that chunk of dead wood to save him.