Tidings for Tuesday

And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Romans 1:23

One of my UML textbooks in a Java programming course I was helping with had two illustrations on the cover. One illustration was an architect’s rendering of the design of a large sailing vessel. The caption under the illustration said ‘This is not a ship’. The second illustration was a picture of a ship under full sail at sea. The caption under that illustration said ‘This is not a ship’. Those captions were making a very important point: you cannot go sailing on an architect’s drawing or on a picture. There is a huge difference between an actual ship and a picture or drawing of that ship. In the same way, there is a huge difference between God and man who was made in the image of God. When God made man in His own image, He did not make man as a god, despite what the serpent told our first parents in the Garden of Eden: ‘ye shall be as gods’ Genesis 3:5. That was one of the devil’s biggest lies then, and it has continued to be one of his biggest lies down through history. Today, some of the cults, such as the Mormons, base much of their doctrine on this lie. And it is at the heart of the New Age pseudo-religion that has captivated so many of the people around us. Just as the devil’s primary goal is to rob God of His rightful glory, so his secondary goal is to get others to do the same.

Our text speaks of the glory of the uncorruptible God. This glory is unique because only God is uncorruptible. Trying to ascribe this glory to anyone or anything that is corruptible is a violation of one of the ten commandments, the one prohibiting idolatry, the making of graven images. It is sin, plain and simple. Those who try to claim that we can become gods or be like gods are practiving idolatry. We used to think we had learned better than to practice idolatry in our modern world. But the truth is, the world around us is slipping deeper and deeper into this great sin against God. If we are not careful, we will be caught up in the devil’s lies and fail to give glory to the uncorruptible God as we should.

We have already seen some of the ways in which idolatrous mankind tries to rob God of His glory. There are others, such as the animal rights movement, in which the so-called rights of animals are elevated beyond anything that God intended. While it is true that a righteous man regardeth the life of his beast (Proverbs 12:10), it is also true that God has given to us the animals for food and labour, and He has given us clear dominion over them. Another means the devil uses to promote idolatry is the heavy emphasis on building self-esteem. In many cases, this amounts to little more than self-worship. The believer who knows the Word of God will not be led astray into these dangerous fields. So we need to emphasize the regular, consistent, and substantial reading of the Scriptures, both for ourselves, and for the younger Christians who are around us.

As corruptible men and women, how good of the uncorruptible God to allow us to recognize and appreciate His glory! -Jim MacIntosh

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