Look up to Him
Then at last the people will look to their Creator and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel. They will no longer look to their idols for help or worship what their own hands have made. They will never again bow down to their Asherah poles or worship at the pagan shrines they have built. Isaiah 17:7-8
The emphasis of the text is on the God of Israel. He is the Lord of hosts (the Lord Almighty), who controls the armies of heaven and earth (Isaiah 17:3). He is the Lord God of Israel (v. 6), who called and blessed Israel and warned her of her sins. He is our Creator, the Holy One of Israel (v. 7); He is the God of our salvation and our Rock (v. 10). Yet, why still worship idols? How foolish of the Israelites to trust their man-made idols instead of trusting the living God. “They will never again bow down to their Asherah poles or worship at the pagan shrines they have built” (v. 8; see also 1 Kings 12:25–33). But like Israel of old, people today trust the gods they have made, instead of the God who created them. These gods that people worship include the false gods of pleasure, wealth, military might, scientific achievement, and even “religious experience.” There is no security for us in this world but only in God himself. Therefore, let’s not put our trust in man but in God alone. God is calling us to look away from the little world we have made or we are making, instead look to the One who made us. God is calling us to stop putting our hope in what we can do and start putting our hope in Him, the One who wants the best for us. Esteem Him with desire, respect, and glad expectation. In this way, we will discover that He is enough. Reject everything that will lead us away from God. Remove the idolatrous altars of our heart and replace it with a commitment only to Him. Faith is to suffer the loss of all things to gain Christ and God is calling us to live by that faith. Let our lives be the expression of God’s working within that creates a sweet smelling perfume. “Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God” (2 Corinthians 2:15). No matter what we lose in order to gain Christ, don’t worry about for it will be all worth it. Let us have faith that overcomes the world. “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God” (1 John 5:4-5).