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Archive for March 18th, 2019


Isaiah 46: Little Gods

Monday, March 18, 2019

Baal

Today we read about the effects of living a life of enslavement to the many little gods that appear in our lives.  These tiny dieties may appear suddenly and either announce their arrival or enter our lives to take hold of our habits stealthily.  They come with no warning and have little or no overt manifestation.  If we take a moment to review commentary for Isaiah 46 we understand that this is a familiar theme to Old Testament people who lived among the many tribes of Baal worshipers.  Looking at cross references to the New Testament we see that it is a well-known theme in Jesus’ day.   Even today we daily come upon incidents of little gods holding sway over us and hijacking our decisions.  Many of us carry Bel and Nebo on our shoulders allowing them to govern our spiritual, political, social and family life.  Today we ponder these little gods who demand much of our time . . . and bring us no enduring consolation or lasting hope.

Who are these demons who haunt us and how do we recognize the fact that they govern our lives?

They must be borne up on shoulders, carried as burdens by the weary.  When we find ourselves enslaved to a custom or habit that exhausts and does not edify us, it is time to call out these little gods.

They stoop and bow down together; unable to save those who bear them, they go into captivity.  When we realize that we are drained of energy and that the structure we believed in has abandoned us, it is time to put an end to the demands of the little gods.

Although they cry out it does not answer; it delivers no one from distress.  When all that we relied upon has taken our life force and has disappeared into nothingness, it is time to amend our ways and turn our allegiance to the Living God who saves.

Remember this and be firm, bear it well in mind, you rebels; remember the former things, those long ago . . . And so as we continue in our Lenten journey, what do we do to shed our faith in these little idols?

I am God, there is no other; I am God, there is none like me.  We turn to God who has loved us despite our folly in abandoning him, and we see that God has always been beside us . . . even when we were blind to him. We hear the voice of God calling to us and we know that this voice has been guiding us . . . even when we could not hear him.  We see the works of God in the many little graces and in the enormous saving actions he has granted us, and we realize God has loved us all through our comings and goings . . . even when we have ignored and even reviled him.

I am bringing on my justice, it is not far off, my salvation will not tarry . . .

We have a clear choice before us today.  We can muddle along with our little gods or we can choose to follow the Living God.  St. Paul writes to the Romans: Our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand.  Let us then throw off the works of darkness [and] put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day.  (Romans 13:11-13)  

Psalm 27 is one of my favorites and it reminds us simply of this: The Lord is my light and my help; whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life; before whom shall I shrink?

If we are too afraid of our little gods to turn them out of the temple of our lives, we turn to God for strength.  If we fear that the Living God has tired of our constant wandering and will not welcome us home, we need only remember the many promises the Living God has kept, and the savior he has sent to redeem us all.


A re-post from March 19, 2012. 

Image from: http://willcookson.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/review-bibles-buried-secrets-did-god-have-a-wife/

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