The Folly of Idolatry

Isaiah 44

9 o All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. 10 p Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? 11 q Behold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forth. They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together.

12 p The ironsmith takes a cutting tool and works it over the coals. He fashions it with hammers and works it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint. 13 The carpenter stretches a line; he marks it out with a pencil. He shapes it with planes and marks it with a compass. r He shapes it into the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, to dwell in a house. 14 s He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. 15 Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also he makes a god and worships it; he makes it an idol and falls down before it. 16 Half of it he burns in the fire. Over the half he eats meat; he roasts it and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, "Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire!" 17 And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. t He prays to it and says, "Deliver me, for you are my god!"

18 They know not, nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand. 19 No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, "Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. And shall I make the rest of it an u abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?" 20 v He feeds on w ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, "Is there not x a lie in my right hand?"

  1. Cross References
    Isaiah 41:24
    Behold, you are nothing, and your work is less than nothing; an abomination is he who chooses you.
    Isaiah 41:29
    Behold, they are all a delusion; their works are nothing; their metal images are empty wind.
  2. Cross References
    Isaiah 40:19 - 20
    An idol! A craftsman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and casts for it silver chains.
    Isaiah 41:6 - 7
    Everyone helps his neighbor and says to his brother, "Be strong!
    Isaiah 46:6 - 7
    Those who lavish gold from the purse, and weigh out silver in the scales, hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god; then they fall down and worship!
    Habakkuk 2:18
    What profit is an idol when its maker has shaped it, a metal image, a teacher of lies? For its maker trusts in his own creation when he makes speechless idols!
    Jeremiah 10:3 - 5
    For the customs of the peoples are vanity. A tree from the forest is cut down and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman.
  3. Cross References
    Isaiah 45:16
    All of them are put to shame and confounded; the makers of idols go in confusion together.
    Psalms 115:8
    Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them.
    Isaiah 42:17
    They are turned back and utterly put to shame, who trust in carved idols, who say to metal images, "You are our gods.
  4. Cross References
    Isaiah 44:10
    Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing?
  5. Cross References
    Psalms 115:5 - 7
    They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see.
  6. Cross References
    Isaiah 40:20
    He who is too impoverished for an offering chooses wood that will not rot; he seeks out a skillful craftsman to set up an idol that will not move.
  7. Cross References
    Isaiah 45:20
    Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, you survivors of the nations! They have no knowledge who carry about their wooden idols, and keep on praying to a god that cannot save.
  8. Cross References
    Deuteronomy 27:15
    "'Cursed be the man who makes a carved or cast metal image, an abomination to the Lord, a thing made by the hands of a craftsman, and sets it up in secret.' And all the people shall answer and say, 'Amen.'
  9. Cross References
    Hosea 12:1
    Ephraim feeds on the wind and pursues the east wind all day long; they multiply falsehood and violence; they make a covenant with Assyria, and oil is carried to Egypt.
  10. Cross References
    Job 13:12
    Your maxims are proverbs of ashes; your defenses are defenses of clay.
  11. Cross References
    Psalms 144:8
    Whose mouths speak lies and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.
    Romans 1:25
    Because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
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