In effect, that is what God accused Israel of doing through the prophet Isaiah. The people would take a piece of wood and make an idol out of it.
They would bow down to it, pray to it, and offer sacrifices to it, all in hopes of persuading this man-made “god” to bestow favor upon them.
Then they would take the same wood, perhaps the scraps left over from the idol-making project, and use it to make a fire where dinner would be cooked.
The same tree.
Part of it becomes our God.
Part of it becomes a tool to feed us and keep us warm.
The carpenter measures with a line
and makes an outline with a marker;
he roughs it out with chisels
and marks it with compasses.
He shapes it in human form,
human form in all its glory,
that it may dwell in a shrine.
He cut down cedars,
or perhaps took a cypress or oak.
He let it grow among the trees of the forest,
or planted a pine, and the rain made it grow.
It is used as fuel for burning;
some of it he takes and warms himself,
he kindles a fire and bakes bread.
But he also fashions a god and worships it;
he makes an idol and bows down to it.
Half of the wood he burns in the fire;
over it he prepares his meal,
he roasts his meat and eats his fill.
He also warms himself and says,
“Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.”
From the rest he makes a god, his idol;
he bows down to it and worships.
He prays to it and says,
“Save me! You are my god!”
They know nothing, they understand nothing;
their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see,
and their minds closed so they cannot understand.
No one stops to think,
no one has the knowledge or understanding to say,
“Half of it I used for fuel;
I even baked bread over its coals,
I roasted meat and I ate.
Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left?
Shall I bow down to a block of wood?”
Such a person feeds on ashes; a deluded heart misleads him;
he cannot save himself, or say,
“Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?”
Idolatry is idiocy, is it not?
And yet we’ve all done it.
We are come into the world as idolaters, worshipping ourselves from day one. We don’t know any better, and if left to our self-absorbed ways, we turn into little idolaters who become bigger idolaters.
For some, the idolatry never ends. We end up not only worshipping ourselves, but other humans, whether it be our parents or our children or our spouse or our sports and entertainment heroes. Then it gets worse – we go from idolizing people to bowing down to things – our possessions or someone else’s.
We were made to worship greatness. God has placed eternity in our hearts.
The sooner we forsake our idols, the sooner we discover our true purpose in life: worshipping the one and only true God, the Creator of heaven and earth.
“There is no God apart from me,
A righteous God and a Savior,
There is none but me.
Turn to me and be saved,
All you ends of the earth;
For I am God, and there is no other.”
May God save us from ourselves and the idiocy of idolatry.