In one of our recent urban missions classes on Idols in the Bible and Culture, our Care Fresno team was studying passages in Isaiah 44. One of their projects was to write a modern day version of Isaiah 44 for our culture today. While I was impressed by the effort of the whole team, this piece in particular, written by Angela, one of our great Mission Care interns, was a truly inspired work! Enjoy!
(Please read Isaiah 44:9-20 first to see the great parallels)
We toil and work for nothing and forget what really matters.
We keep our eyes forward,
our vision entranced by a screen.
All the while ignorant of the world around us.
We look at success stories paraded before us,
and we want to be like these gods.
We forget they are just humans,
just flesh and blood.
They draw thousands to them, and stand on stages.
But in the end they are all destroyed.
We take the tools of a tablet and a smartphone in our hands,
and with them we create our image reflecting these people.
We spend our time, all we have.
Forgo sleep and nourishment for the next promotion,
the next big break.
We design our image carefully, perfectly,
And create humans out of electronics we lovingly call Siri.
She is our life.
She gives us our meaning.
We say, “Save me I have to know this information right this minute.
I don’t have a second to waste.”
We don’t stop to think what we look like,
our blind eyes on a screen,
and deaf ears plugged with our headphones.
Unaware of the world that surrounds us and is molding the lie,
and it’s a lie we buy.
A deluded heart that misleads.
An idol before us that we bow to on our knees,
That we allow to lead.
And all this time God is standing in our peripheral view,
Saying, “My Child, My Child if you only knew”
Yet he lets us stay in the state that we chose
Because it is the best punishment he can give,
to become like those who can only die and cannot live
until our eyes are open
and we turn away from this sin.
But how can we hear above the rhetoric of the accepted cultural "truth"?
How can we see when the idol is engrained in the fabric of all we do?
All who make idols are nothing,
and the things they treasure are worthless.
Those who would speak up for them are blind;
they are ignorant, to their own shame.
10 Who shapes a god and casts an idol,
which can profit nothing?
11 People who do that will be put to shame;
such craftsmen are only human beings.
Let them all come together and take their stand;
they will be brought down to terror and shame.
12 The blacksmith takes a tool
and works with it in the coals;
he shapes an idol with hammers,
he forges it with the might of his arm.
He gets hungry and loses his strength;
he drinks no water and grows faint.
13 The carpenter measures with a line
and makes an outline with a marker;
he roughs it out with chisels
and marks it with compasses.
He shapes it in human form,
human form in all its glory,
that it may dwell in a shrine.
14 He cut down cedars,
or perhaps took a cypress or oak.
He let it grow among the trees of the forest,
or planted a pine, and the rain made it grow.
15 It is used as fuel for burning;
some of it he takes and warms himself,
he kindles a fire and bakes bread.
But he also fashions a god and worships it;
he makes an idol and bows down to it.
16 Half of the wood he burns in the fire;
over it he prepares his meal,
he roasts his meat and eats his fill.
He also warms himself and says,
“Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.”
17 From the rest he makes a god, his idol;
he bows down to it and worships.
He prays to it and says,
“Save me! You are my god!”
18 They know nothing, they understand nothing;
their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see,
and their minds closed so they cannot understand.
19 No one stops to think,
no one has the knowledge or understanding to say,
“Half of it I used for fuel;
I even baked bread over its coals,
I roasted meat and I ate.
Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left?
Shall I bow down to a block of wood?”
20 Such a person feeds on ashes; a deluded heart misleads him;
he cannot save himself, or say,
“Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?”