Isaiah 46: 4, 6-7
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
Some pour out gold from their bags
and weigh out silver on the scales;
they hire a goldsmith to make it into a god,
and they bow down and worship it.
They lift it to their shoulders and carry it;
they set it up in its place, and there it stands.
From that spot it cannot move.
Though one cries out to it, it does not answer;
it cannot save him from his troubles.
Lord, how much we Americans are like the Israelites - stubborn-hearted and far from righteous! Have mercy on us and teach us to put You in Your proper place.
Captivated by concrete things we can touch and see, we pour out our wealth to build bigger houses to hold our fine collection of treasured possessions. We light them up and show them off like trophies in a display case. At the same time we're erecting the homes of our dreams, we're paying premiums to plastic surgeons to make us new images.
Lifting up our treasures, we proudly carry them around on our broad shoulders bragging about our success as we continually strive to improve and impress. Bogged down beneath the dead weight of debt we cry out from behind our fake faces to our big houses to save us, but they cannot. They are merely inanimate objects that stand still, stiff, solid and silent - cold as concrete.
If we'd only invest our time opening our Bibles and contemplating the Abstract we'd comprehend that You are an amazingly animated Architect who intricately designs human souls with a firm foundation that will stand forever, made to store Your imperishable, invaluable inheritance. Strong and secure, You and You alone will sustain us and carry us through the storms.
To whom can we compare You or count as Your equal? You are incomparable! You are God and there is no other. There is none like You. Teach us O God to put You in Your proper place, and to trust in the Abstract so that we won't be bogged down by the concrete. Amen.
Strolling along the waterfront in beautiful Balboa Beach, California I was mesmerized by the parade of grandiose homes. Behind the well-lit glass of every house, I gazed and gasped at the fine collections of pretty possessions that were perfectly exhibited for everyone passing by to see. In front of the homes luxurious boats were docked on the inlet with the moon beams glistening on their masts. Shiny Mercedes, BMWs and Lexuses were parked in the narrow streets.
Leaving town, a vast Cosmetic Surgery Center captured my attention. Enthralled by their large homes, luxury toys, and fake faces, I found myself wondering: Who answers them when they cry out in the storms? They aren't immune to trouble. Who rescues them when the floods come? Sadly, these things will not save them. They are merely concrete.
We would be wise to live simply, build on the Abstract foundation of Jesus Christ, and display His glory. Unbelievers are on the outside looking into our lives. What do they see when they look at you and your lifestyle? Do they see the concrete or the Abstract?