Isaiah, the Trash-Talking Prophet

Whenever I read through Isaiah, I always find his trash talk about idols somewhat humorous. Here’s a sampling of Isaiah’s attitude about idols …

So to whom will you equate God;
to what likeness
will you compare him?
An idol? A craftsman pours it,
a metalworker covers it with gold,
and fashions silver chains.
The one who sets up an image
chooses wood that won’t rot
and then seeks a skilled artisan
to set up an idol that won’t move. (Isaiah 40.18-20, CEB)

Isaiah’s just getting warmed up. Awhile later, he turns up the heat …

Idol-makers are all as nothing;
their playthings do no good.
Their promoters
neither see nor know anything,
so they ought to be ashamed.
Who would form a god or cast an idol
that does no good?
All its worshippers will be ashamed,
and its artisans, who are only human.
They will all gather and stand,
tremble and be ashamed together. (Isaiah 44.9-11, CEB)

Isaiah has more to say about idols and their makers …

Those who pour out gold from a bag
and weigh silver with a balance
hire a metalworker;
then he makes a god.
They bow down; they worship;
they carry the idol on their
shoulders and support it;
they set it down, and it stands still,
unable to move from its place.
one cries out to it, it doesn’t answer.
It can’t save people
from their distress. (Isaiah 46.-7, CEB)

Isaiah takes one more shot at idols and those who worship them toward the end of the book …

Come here, you children of sorcery,
offspring of adultery and prostitution!
Whom are you mocking?
Against whom do you
open your mouth wide
and stick out your tongue?
Aren’t you children of rebellion, offspring of lies,
who console yourselves with idols
under every green tree …
When you cry out,
let those things you’ve gathered
save you!
The wind will lift them all;
one breath will take them away … (Isaiah 57.3-5,13, CEB)

Isaiah the prophet tells it like it is!

(See follow-up post: Psalm 115 and 135 on Idols.)

(This post features the Common English Bible and is part of the Common English Bible Tour.)

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