Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | October 13, 2016

“Is their god the Bible-God?”

Today’s devotion comes from Psalm chapter 135.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+135&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“Praise the Lord!
Praise the name of the Lord;
Praise Him, O servants of the Lord,
2 You who stand in the house of the Lord,
In the courts of the house of our God!
3 Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
Sing praises to His name, for it is lovely.
4 For the Lord has chosen Jacob for Himself,
Israel for His own possession.

5 For I know that the Lord is great
And that our Lord is above all gods.
6 Whatever the Lord pleases, He does,
In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.

15 The idols of the nations are but silver and gold,
The work of man’s hands.
16 They have mouths, but they do not speak;
They have eyes, but they do not see;
17 They have ears, but they do not hear,
Nor is there any breath at all in their mouths.
18 Those who make them will be like them,
Yes, everyone who trusts in them.

19 O house of Israel, bless the Lord;
O house of Aaron, bless the Lord;
20 O house of Levi, bless the Lord;
You who revere the Lord, bless the Lord.
21 Blessed be the Lord from Zion,
Who dwells in Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!”  Psalm 135:1-6 and 15-21.

———————–

In today’s Scripture, the sovereign, good, and helpful God of Scripture is presented in sharpest contrast to the helpless idols of man.  We see similar Scripture in the following Psalm 115:3-9.

“3 But our God is in the heavens;
He does whatever He pleases.
4 Their idols are silver and gold,
The work of man’s hands.
5 They have mouths, but they cannot speak;
They have eyes, but they cannot see;
6 They have ears, but they cannot hear;
They have noses, but they cannot smell;
7 They have hands, but they cannot feel;
They have feet, but they cannot walk;
They cannot make a sound with their throat.
8 Those who make them will become like them,
Everyone who trusts in them.

9 O Israel, trust in the Lord;
He is their help and their shield.”  Psalm 115:3-9.

The reader may protest:  “I do not believe in idols!”.  And, it may be true that he or she does not worship a statue made of silver or gold.  But, as the following article by August Toplady maintains, there can be idols made by the heart of a false image of God.  Augustus Toplady (1740-1778) was chiefly known as a writer of hymns including “Rock of Ages”.

The ‘god’ of Arminianism by Augustus Toplady

“I dare say, that, in such an auditory as this, a number of Arminians are present.  I fear, that all our public assemblies have too many of them.  Perhaps, however, even these people, idolaters as they are, may be apt to blame, and, indeed, with justice, the absurdity of those who worship idols of silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.  But let me ask: If it be so very absurd, to worship the work of other men’s hands what must it be, to worship the works of our own hands?  Perhaps, you may say, ‘God forbid that I should do so.

Nevertheless, let me tell you, that trust, confidence, reliance, and dependence, for salvation, are all acts and very solemn ones too, of divine worship:  and upon whatsoever you depend, whether in whole or in part, for your acceptance with God, and for your justification in his sight, whatsoever, you rely upon, and trust in, for the attainment of grace or glory; if it be any thing short of God in Christ, you are an idolater for all intents and purposes.

Very different is the idea which Scripture gives us, of the ever-blessed God, from that of those false gods worshipped by the heathens; and from that degrading representation of the true God, which Arminianism would palm upon mankind.  Our God (says this Psalm, verse the third) is in the heavens:  he hath done whatsoever he pleased.  This is not the Arminian idea of God:  for our free-willers and our chance- mongers tell us, that God does not do whatsoever he pleases; that there are a great number of things, which God wishes to do, and rags and strives to do, and yet cannot bring to pass … Is their god the Bible-God?  Certainly not.  Their god ‘submits’ to difficulties which he ‘cannot help’ himself out of, and endeavors to make himself ‘easy’ under millions and millions of inextricable embarrassments, uncomfortable disappointments, and mortifying defeats. …This said scheme ascends, on the ladder of blasphemy, to the mountain top of atheism; and then hurls itself from that precipice, into the gulf of blind, adamantine necessity, in order to prove mankind free agents!

… One great contest, between the religion of Arminianism, and the religion of Christ, is, who shall stand entitled to the praise and glory of a sinner’s salvation?  Conversion decides this point at once; for I think that, without any imputation of uncharitableness,  I may venture to say, that every truly awakened person, at least when he is under the shine of God’s countenance upon his soul, will fall down upon his knees, with this hymn of praise ascending from his heart, Not unto me, O Lord, not unto me, but to thy name, give the glory:  I am saved not for my righteousness, but for thy mercy and thy truth’s sake.”


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