What fun to learn of different cultures, try different foods and hear their amazing stories. Most who immigrate to the United States are so grateful to be here, but they keep their culture and traditions. Americans benefit by being exposed to all that is unique to their home country. We can learn some of their language and customs and we certainly acquire a taste for the wonderful foods they bring with them. We truly are one big 'melting pot!'
I had my own agenda for visiting the Buddha statue and shine. I wanted to take photos and write a poem for my writing class, and I wanted to see, up close and personal, an exquisite idol carved by man. My interest was perked by a study of Isaiah 40, this past week. This chapter is one of the 'stand outs' of Scripture. If you read this blog very often you know I have many 'favorites', this is another one. When you study a piece of literature that is so overwhelming beautiful in its prose and poetry you can't help but take note.
The Bible is a living Word and different from other literature. Our heavenly Father makes it very personal to each of us so we are able to apply it to our life. As I stood in that park, looking at the jade Buddha idol, I began to review in my mind what I had been learning from the study of Isaiah 40. The beauty of the Scripture is that you can experience what God is teaching you!
Isaiah 40: 6-8 -'All men are like grass, we wither and die. Grass withers, flowers fall because the breath of the Lord blows on them, but the word of our God stands forever.'
God is in charge of life and death. Have you noticed that nothing that is of this world is permanent, long lasting maybe, but not permanent in the sense of 'eternal'. There is an ebb and flow, a shifting of sands - what was here yesterday may not be here tomorrow.
vs. 9 -11 - You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem lift up your voice with a shout, say to the towns of Judah, "Here is your God". See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart'.
Share the good news, God is coming! Remember, this was written 700 years before Christ was born and Isaiah is telling us about a Sovereign Lord who comes with power, shepherds his flock and carries the lambs close to his heart.......who do you think that is? This is a prophesy of the coming of JESUS! Take the time to read through John 10, it's all about the Shepherd and His flock....that's us! We will follow Him because we know His voice. Jesus says this about those who believe in Him, His sheep......
"I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand".......John 10:28.
I know from this passage in Isaiah 40, that I need not worry or fear, because I know the One who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand and with the breadth of his hands marked off the heavens! He brings out the stars at night , one by one, and calls them by name!
And then in verses 18 - 20 He has a word or two to say about idols, like Buddha, made by man, then worshipped like a god by the ones who made it. God asks the ultimate question......"to whom will you compare me?" Certainly no idol made by man. This passage is one of many in the Bible that speak to idols.
Psalm 115: 4-8 - Points out that idols are made by the hands of men, they have mouths, but can't speak, eyes, but can't see, ears, but cannot hear......"those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them."
Jeremiah 10: 11 - 15 - "Tell them this: 'These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.' God said these images are "worthless, the objects of mockery; and when judgement comes, they will perish."
Habakkuk 2: 18 -19 - "Of what value is an idol since man has carved it? Or an image that teaches lies? For he who makes it trust in his own creation......woe to him who says to wood, 'Come to life!'. Or to lifeless stone stone, 'Wake up!' Can it give guidance?
I think you'll agree......the Bible has interesting comments in judgement of idols. Those who believe in Christ as our Lord and Savior, are not 'under the law', Jesus fulfilled the law in our behalf, however take note of the very first commandment of God.....Deuteronomy 5:7 - "You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them....." Seems pretty clear to me!
When we become alive spiritually and know who the Lord is, we experience His 'presence' in our life. Our life as a Christian is not about trying to please God, Jesus did that for us on the cross - it's about having a personal relationship with Him. Knowing who God is gives us all we need to get through this life. His sovereignty is my security!
- I will not worry
- I will not fear
- I will rejoice
- I will hope
- I will survive
Thank you Lord for who you are, our powerful, sovereign God. I praise you for setting your plan in place and giving me peace that YOUR purpose will stand. You have your hand on all nations and every day I am mindful that no matter what is happening in the world, You Lord, are still on the throne!