To whom then will you liken God?
Or what likeness will you compare with Him?
As for the idol, a craftsman casts it,
A goldsmith plates it with gold,
And a silversmith fashions chains of silver.
He who is too impoverished for such an offering
Selects a tree that does not rot;
He seeks out for himself a skillful craftsman
To prepare an idol that will not totter.
Isaiah 40:18-20

There are a lot of things we can use to help us understand God; he plays many roles in our lives as our Father, our Shepherd, our Maker and our King. In a very real way, all of those little, human names and roles are far beneath Him and inadequate to describe Him.

The true downfall for humans comes when they no longer merely try to describe Him but they create an inadequate, false substitute for Him with their own power. We create an image of what we wish God was. When we do this, we rely on imperfect materials and an imperfect maker and we end up with a deeply flawed idol, a god that is made of lesser stuff than its creator.

Here’s the secret we’ve known from the beginning: God formed people by His unlimited power to be an image of Him! He made us as a representation of Himself. Just as the idolator looks at a powerless lump of matter and wishes it to be a god, God looks at us, his most favored creations, and wishes for us to be like Him. Unlike the hopeless and deluded idolator, however, God not only gave us the personal freedom to obey but uses his own power to strengthen us in that wish!

When God put His hands to work making an image, He imparted to that work His greatest desire, that we could call Him by many names but always consider Him to be our Friend. So when you look at your God and glorify Him in your words and actions, know this: you were made to fulfill that wish.

Ethan Kirl

Originally Published November 27, 2022