Isaiah Chapter 42:8. “I am the Lord. That is my name. My glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.”
Well, the meaning of Isaiah 42:8 is obviously clear. God alone deserves glory. There are no other (little “g”) gods in the world. He alone is the one true God. That’s why He deserves all glory. And all idolatry is wrong.
God alone deserves our worship, so we should flee every form of idolatry.
Yet when we hear, “nor do I give my praise to carved idols,” often times we can just start to think okay, wooden idols or kind of pictures that we might have of idolatry in the Old Testament…people bowing down and worshiping different images. Even pictures of that around the world, which is obviously idolatry. And so we want to pray for God’s glory to be made known over and above carved idols in the world, but we’ve also got to think about idolatry just in our own hearts.
There’s a sense in which all sin is rooted in idolatry. Like immorality flows from idolatry. When we sin…any sin…think about the anatomy of sin. When you or I sin, we’re basically saying “I know what is better than you, oh God. What is best for my life. I’m smarter than you. I’m wiser than you.” And in that way we’re elevating ourselves above God. That’s idolatry of ourselves even in our motivation.
So many times we are concerned with our appearance. What people are going to think about us, how people are going to perceive us. That’s idolatry of ourselves, because what we should be concerned about is the appearance, the perception of God. He alone is supreme, not us.
And so there is so many subtle ways in which idolatry works in our own hearts and all around the world. So we’ve got to continually come back to this truth, and just pray that God would instill it deeper and deeper and deeper into our hearts, that He alone is God.
So, how does that change the way we pray? Well, let’s pray and just think through the implications of this as we do:
Oh God, you alone are God. You alone are glorious. So we pray today, everything that happens today in our lives, God use it all for your glory. That’s what’s most important today is Your glory. Not even how we feel, not even what happens to us, and certainly what others perceive about us. So we want Your glory, Your perception to be known as great, and You to be perceived as gracious and good. So, use our lives toward that end today, we pray.
Keep us from idolatry in our own hearts. Keep us from looking to people in this world, or possessions in this world, or even pursuits in this world as supreme. God, You alone are supreme. Help us to love people in a way that shows ultimate love for You. God help us in the midst of all kind of possessions and pursuits in this world. Help us to keep them in perspective, help us not to put our trust in them, help us to keep our trust in You. Help us to honor you with our possessions, help us to glorify You with the pursuits we have in this world. And then God, we pray, we do pray that in a world filled with all kinds of idolatry; in a world where all kinds of carved idols exist, we pray that You would show Your supremacy.
Oh God, hallowed be Your name in all the earth. Show the nations that You alone are God, and use our lives today toward that end. Use our lives to exalt You among all kinds of idols in this world. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.