I remember as a kid playing with an origami fortune teller. We asked a question, counted off to the answer and opened the fortune teller to read a predetermined answer. I can't for the life of me remember why this was fun, but it was. Later I had a Magic 8 Ball. This, too, seemed to be great fun. As I got older, I remember dabbling with a Quija board and astrology. As I look back at my life before I was a believer, I see a pattern of searching for answers; searching for a way of getting an advantage in this life.
We all have a great desire to know what lies ahead. We're all the same in this way. We long for answers of where we came from, what our purpose is and where we are going when we leave here.
Look at this passage in the bible that is 2700 years old:
19 Woe to him who says to wood, 'Awake!'
To silent stone, 'Arise! It shall teach!'
Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver,
Yet in it there is no breath at all.
20 "But the Lord is in His holy temple.
Let all the earth keep silence before Him."
In Habakkuk 2 God speaks through Habakkuk to the idolater. These were people seeking answers; seeking an advantage in life. Imagine picking up a piece of wood and saying, "Wake up! You are now my god!" It sounds goofy doesn't it? How about picking up a rock and asking it to teach you something wise; "Come, little river rock, give me wisdom. Tell me what to do with my life." How about if we took our piece of wood and dressed up a little? Maybe if we covered it in silver and gold and made it look expensive and important, maybe then it might be a suitable god for us.
This all sounds very bizarre to us in these days. Yet, think of what you trust in for wisdom. Every day, people make major decisions in their life based on foolish superstitions. They trust in a printed astrology report or seek out and pay psychics for advice on life. One report says that Americans spend $300 million on psychic hotlines. One person said they paid $60 to a psychic hotline and followed the advice given and it saved their life. Really? Did they care who was on the other end of the line? Are we so desperate for some insight into life that we'll seek advice from a psychic hotline, or a stick, a rock? Is the advice from each not equally valuable, or rather invaluable?
The stone and the stick cannot speak. They are weak gods that we have to prop up, dress up and listen really close. We have to put words in their mouth. Many times the words of our make believe gods sound very much like us. We either hear the advice we want to hear or we give heed to our conscience and hear the advice we need. Unfortunately, the psychic hotlines have a voice, as well as many other idols we seek out. (Think everything from fortune cookies, Astology, Palm readers, Judge Judy, to Montel, Oprah and even Joel.)
But there is another way. Habakkuk 20 says: "But the Lord is in His Holy Temple." He is the Living God, our creator and our heavenly Father. Should we not listen and trust in Him? Habakkuk advises, "Let all the earth keep silence before Him." In the presence of the Living God, we don't have to put words in his mouth. The Living God has spoken and continues to speak to His creation today. Are we listening? Are we seeking information about our future from the right place? Why seek answer to life from something cold and dead or someone that is equally confused about life and seeking answers themselves? Why not go to the source of life and breathe. Why would we not go to the original manufacturer for the best advice regarding purpose and function?
Wouldn't it be fascinating if every fortune cookie, every psychic hotline, every horoscope and palm reader across the world began to speak of the one truth from the One God and advised this lost and dying world to read the bible. Would we do it? The answers of life, and the afterlife, are found there. Eternal destinies are found and secured there, answers are found and lives are changed. The word is supernatural, inspired by supernatural God, given as a gift and preserved across time so we always have it.
Imagine for a moment:
The Great Carnac, holding the envelope to his head: "The words of life!"
Ed: "The words of life"
The Great Carnac: (Snide remark, eye roll, while tearing open the envelope)
The Great Carnac: "The Bible"
(Note to younger readers and those older ones with memory loss: The Great Carnac is a dated reference; you will have to Google it to attempt to understand. No guarantee it will help though.)
As you start a new year, I'd encourage you to begin a daily study of the bible. If you already do so, congratulations, your life and mind are already being transformed by God's eternal word.
Just Thinking Again!