In the verses prior to this one we are given the description of those who create idols to worship and serve. This is an illustration of where I believe the world is, and sadly, for the most part the organized church. In these verses the carpenter has cut down the tree and fashioned his own god from it that he looks to for all his need.
Who needs God when we can do it ourselves? This seems to be the mantra of the age. But there is a problem with that thinking and I want to address it this morning. The use of a tree symbolizes humanity/man/flesh. Our devices, plans and works are fleshly- imperfect and unstable. Once the tree is cut down, it ceases to be alive- it is now a dead tree. Nothing, no work of the flesh that we do on our own outside of God has life in it.
1) "He burns part in the fire and warms himself". A fire is warmth. Fire is one of the most comforting elements there is. Yet when we use our own "gods that we have hewn" (humanistic wisdom, vain philosophy, education) to produce a fire to "warm" ourselves it is only temporary. You have to continue to add more wood to it or it will go out. There is no rest for those who build their own fire to warm themselves, they are continually having to work to keep it going.
2) "With part he cooks his food". While he is eating the meal he has cooked he is satisfied, but it is not long before he is hungry again. Our own devises and works of the flesh never give full and complete satisfaction. Just about the time you think you are full and satisfied hunger hits again. It is only a temporary satisfaction.
3) "I have seen the fire". When you make your own "fire" (your own god and a substitute for the true God), you are easily deceived by what you see. You believe you have the real thing. You are warm, you are satisfied and you have light. But it is a false light giving false security- it will go out and leave you in the dark.
There is only One who is the Light, there is only One who truly satisfies, there is only One who takes away the struggles, there is only One who gives warmth to our cold hard hearts. And that One is not made with our own hands. Our efforts and the works of our hands bring death, but only He can put life in dead things. That One is Jesus, and Jesus gives life because He is Life.
Are you trying to invent your own "god"? Are you trying to find something within your own strength and power that will satisfy you? Are you trying to warm yourself? Are you struggling to keep the "fire" going? Come to the real fire, only He can truly satisfy and give a lasting satisfaction. Don't be as foolish as these who think that they don't need God because they can do it themselves.
Have a great day. Man's ability to satisfy himself outside of God is impossible, so we do need Him.
For further reading:John 14:6; 1:4; 15:5
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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell
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