by Richard Mansel, managing editor
Sometimes the irony is striking and instructive.
LiveScience reports that:
“An 1,800-year-old stone carving of what may be the head of a Roman god was recently found in an ancient garbage dump. An undergraduate student at Durham University discovered the largely intact head during an archaeological dig at the Binchester Roman fort, a major Roman Empire fort built around A.D. 100 in northeastern England’s County Durham. Archaeologists involved in the dig believe that somebody probably tossed the 8-inch long statue in the garbage when the building was abandoned in the fourth century, during the fall of the Roman Empire.”/1
In ancient times, someone held that idol and poured out their heart to it. That idol represented all their hopes and dreams. They believed they couldn’t survive without their idol providing rain and a successful crop.
Then, when all hope was abandoned, it was tossed in the garbage to be burned.
First, we have the god.
Idols are worthless because they are dead objects, representing nothing (Habakkuk 2:8).
“The idols of the nations are silver and gold, The work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they do not speak; Eyes they have, but they do not see; They have ears, but they do not hear; Nor is there any breath in their mouths” (Psalm 135:15-17, NKJV).
Isaiah talks about a man who cuts down a tree and builds a fire. From the rest of the wood, he fashions an idol and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!” (Isaiah 44:13-17).
Second, we have the God.
God is not fashioned with men’s hands because he is eternal and active in the world today (Genesis 1:1; Acts 17:14-25). God has a universe at his disposal and billions of moving parts, all of which have freewill. His providence is working every day to move people to Christ (Romans 8:28).
God answers the prayers of his children as a Father (Philippians 4:6). We are commanded to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). However, we must remember that God answers our prayers for what is best for us spiritually.
He fills a need, rather than fleshy desires. The conflict is irreconcilable for some so they leave God only to find ruin (Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:26-31).
We cannot ever give up on God because he will never leave us (Hebrews 13:5). God is incapable of evil (1 John 1:5), but there are complexities involved in prayer that are inconceivable to us.
We must trust him and allow him to work (Hebrews 11:6). Prayers to the living God extend to heaven. However, petitions to idols wind up in the fire (Revelation 19:20).
So, where will we send our prayers?