Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“You are of nothing, and your work is of nought. An abomination is he who chooses you.”
In Isaiah 44:8, the Lord, mocking the faith of men in heathen gods, suggests that He has looked around heaven for the gods that men on earth worshiped and that He was unable to find any of them up there. Later, Jeremiah let Israel know that it really did not matter if there were any other gods because any god that did not create the heavens and the earth was going to be destroyed by the God who did create them (Jer. 10:11).
The gods of the Gentiles were “nothing”. They could not save; they could not damn. They could not heal; they could not harm. In the courage that faith in the true God gives, Isaiah stood before certain of the magnificently shaped idols in Israel and challenged them to do something-anything-so that the people could see that they really were not gods. He said, “Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods. Yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.” We are not told this, but we can safely assume that the idols to which Isaiah was speaking remained still and silent.
The gods of the ancient world could not determine the future or impose their will on the present. They could not influence the weather, control nature, decide the fate of nations, or alter the movements of the stars. They could not make anyone either holy or wise. They could not protect a nation from the onslaught of foreign invaders if the true God had already determined that the invaders would be victorious. The gods of the gentiles existed as gods only in the imaginations of men, and so, they were truly “nothing”.
Nevertheless, virtually all of the ancient world worshiped many gods. In praying, they prayed to nothing. In making sacrifices, they sacrificed to nothing. In trusting their gods, they were trusting in nothing. And in the end, they had nothing to save them from damnation. After death, all people receive their judgement from the one true God.
In the beginning, God created man in His image, and from the time that man fell into sin, he tried to return the favor by creating a god in his image. Throughout his miserable history, man has imagined gods of virtually every shape and size, but he has never been able to make them real. And after millennia of effort and expense to accomplish this monumental task, what has man succeeded in creating? Nothing. And yet, in spite of man’s failures, he chose to worship the nothing he had made rather than to humble himself before the one true and living God.
Untold millions have spent their lives worshiping and trusting what amounted to nothing in the end. Don’t waste your life praying to a god who is not even there. Be among those who trust their souls to the true and living God.