I posted this last week, but found a couple of errors so I pulled it and reworked it. However I am only publishing half of the original. I decided to keep the posts shorter so they are more easily digestible. I think with Isaiah you have to be brief!
In the previous Isaiah post I mused on what it meant to reason with the Lord. The Lord loves us and he wants to give us every opportunity to come back to him. “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39). But what happens when we don’t? And furthermore, what are the reasons that caused us to veer off the path in the first place? They are many and varied, but I think they all contain one common element.
“For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which ye have desired, and ye shall be confounded for the gardens ye have chosen.” (Isaiah 1:29) The footnote for oaks refers to the terebinth trees and gardens used in idol worship.
Several years ago we built a new house. It was the first one we had owned, we had lived in rentals up until that time. I was so excited to be able to decorate that I spent an inordinate amount of time, money and energy on that pursuit. I bought all kinds of magazines and spent hours perusing them, dreaming about what my house was going to look like. One day as I sat down to read I pulled out a stack of Ensigns that I had been neglecting for some time. One cover caught my eye as I was glancing through, but I passed over it. I leafed through the stack, rearranged the pile and then randomly selected one. It was the one I had passed over. On the cover was a picture of Moses with the Ten Commandments and the article depicted was entitled, “The Second Commandment Today—Refusing to Worship Graven Images.” At that point I began to connect the dots; I was being told something. As I read the article, I was filled with a deep sense of shame for there were some points made in the article that seem to be specifically put there for me to read. I recognized that I had been putting the Decorating God before my Savior. Decorating my house was my garden of worship and I had been neglecting my other duties of wife and mother.
Both the first and second commandments instruct us to put God first. I can’t think of any sin that doesn’t begin by disobeying those commandments. The aforementioned article states that worshipping modern images results in confusion, corruption and a divided heart. When I was so immersed in my decorating I was confused about my priorities. My children were neglected, dinner wasn’t ready on time (if ever) and my relationship with my husband suffered. Because God was not first in my life, my focus was askew and it was easy for Satan to lead me down the wrong path.
This experience happened several years ago, but as I write this I can think back on this last week and see too many times that I allowed a little graven image to distract me. It is a never ending battle. In fact I should be in bed right now rather than writing this post! But there is hope. The Lord is always there to guide us back to the strait and narrow. Sometimes it’s just a nudge (toward the bed), but other times it’s not always a pleasant experience…
But you'll have to wait for another post to get the scintillating details.