HOW ARE YOU USING YOUR WOOD
Isaiah 44:14-15 He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it. Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh a graven image, and falleth down thereto.
In many instances, throughout biblical history, we find numerous examples the children of Israel being given over to idolatry byworshipingidols and images made by the hands of men. We find in Genesis 31, that idols were found in Laban's household; in Joshua 24, that Israel brought idols out of Egypt; in 1 Kings 11, Solomon yields to idols. In many other texts, primarily in Kings and Chronicles, we find how, both Rehoboam and Jeroboam, and many kings that follow them, had idols made, provided temples for idols, and, in most cases, were tolerant of the worship of idols.
In this text, we find the folly and total absurdity of idol worship. Here we find men cutting down trees. From the wood of the trees, men make fire to keep warm and to bake bread. In other passages, wood was used in building the temple of God.Wood wasused to build dwellings, in shipbuilding, to fashion weapons, and to make wagons and chariots. It is used to make musical instruments and furniture. It was even noted in Nehemiah 8:4 that Ezra, the scribe, stood upon a pulpit of wood, which was made for that purpose.
God's gift of wood has been, and still is,a blessing to mankind. However, the sinful Jewish nationfound another use for wood. Verse 17 says, And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even a graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, deliver me; for thou art my god. Even after using wood for many good purposes, from the scraps of wood that were left over, they made idols and worshipped them. How utterly absurd! The tree that was made by God and given to His people for all of its good purposes, noted above, is also used to make a false gods to worship and praise!
God has given us much wood for our use. We can build church buildings in which to worship God, or we can carve out idol gods to worship. How are you using your wood? How are you using any of God's gifts? How are you using your abilities and talents, your time, your money, or your influence? Are you using these to glorify God, or to glorify the worldly gods of Satan? You can do what you will with these gifts. You can use them for good or use them for evil purposes. The choice is yours.
The concept of using our talents for doing good deeds or evil worksis brought out in the first 8 verses of John 15. Here we find ourselves compared to the branches of a fruit-bearing tree or vine. Jesus says, I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in Me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit. Branches that do not bear fruit are cut off, cast into a fire, and destroyed. Verse 8 says, Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples. Two things are worth noting in these scriptures. First, we must be in the Vine, that is, in Jesus Christ, His body. Secondly, to praise and glorify God, we must be branches that bear much fruit.
We are all wood workers! How we use our "wood" is demonstrated in our "works." Titus 2:7 indicates that we should develop a pattern of good works. In the 14th verse, we are told to be zealous of good works. And in Titus 3:8 we are told to be careful to maintain good works. Some, however, profess to know God, but their works deny what they say. They are said to be reprobates of good works.
How are you using your wood? With the wood that you have been given, what have you made? Is God pleased or displeased with your woodworking?