Isaiah 2:20-22 says, “In that day men will throw away to the rodents and bats their idols of silver and idols of gold, which they made to worship. They will flee to caverns in the rocks and to the overhanging crags from dread of the LORD and the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to shake the earth. Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he?” (NIV)
What a contrast between dread of the Lord and dread of man. When we stop dreading/fearing man and really get ahold of the dread of God (a healthy dread/fear/reverence), who is able to shake our little world, then we will throw away our idols.
Today, God showed me another way I have the idol of the fear of man, and fortunately, God protected me from possible harm.
I was at the store and when I came out and got in my car, a woman next to me in a jeep with a young man in the front seat, motioned to the right front tire and said there was something wrong. Hmmmm…sounds a little fishy but she looked safe enough. I got out and went around to look at the tire, and unwisely, went past her door to check out the tire; as a result, I couldn’t see her.
Thankfully, there wasn’t any danger–there really was something wrong with the tire, so I thanked her.
But later as I thought about the danger I’d put myself in, I realized I’d done that foolish thing because of my fear of man. I have a strategy of not wanting to make others feel bad about themselves. If I’d brushed off this lady who was trying to help me (supposedly), wouldn’t she feel rejected? Wouldn’t she feel bad? Now that might even sound pretty noble. After all, none of us should want to make anyone feel bad.
Ah, but that’s not really the bottom line. The real underlying reason is, “Wouldn’t she think badly of me if I was responsible for making her feel badly? What will people think of me?”
It’s really all about me; my image. And me taking responsibility for the way people feel about themselves and even their world. That’s not dread of God and throwing away my idols because:
- I’m trying to play “god” in another person’s life by managing their life
- I’m trying to protect my image so that other people will think well of me
I’m grateful to the Lord for this warning and the conviction to see another way (of many) that I fear man and not God.