They drank the wine and praised their gods made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood, or stone.
In Daniel 5, God teaches King Belshazzar a very humbling and permanent lesson about his arrogance before the Lord. What I would like to think about today is that they praised their gods made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone. Daniel said these gods do not see or hear or know (Daniel 5:23).
Take a minute to think about the following passage from Psalms.
Why should other nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in heaven. He does whatever he wants. Their idols are made of silver and gold. They were made by human hands. They have mouths, but they cannot speak. They have eyes, but they cannot see. They have ears, but they cannot hear. They have noses, but they cannot smell. They have hands, but they cannot feel. They have feet, but they cannot walk. They cannot even make a sound with their throats. Those who make idols end up like them. So does everyone who trusts them. Israel, trust the LORD. He is your helper and your shield.
Gods of earthly materials cannot see, hear, speak, smell or move. Notice what the Psalmist said about those who worship idols…
Those who make idols end up like them. So does everyone who trusts them.
Did they literally end up without any use of their senses or motor skills? No. But spiritually speaking they could not see, hear, speak or perceive anything that belongs to God. The life of worshipping idols destroys our understanding, and our ability to speak and move for God.
Do we have idolatry today? Of course, let’s look at one specific reference from the apostle Paul.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
What is idolatry? Covetousness, greediness, a lust for more, more, more. It could be more money, stuff, status, approval, sexual pleasure, etc., but whatever it is it becomes our god. This is our idolatry that we worship.
Does that affect your ability to see, hear, speak and perceive the things of God? Yes, let’s listen to Jesus.
Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “‘”You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.” For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.
The cares and lust for this world choke the word of God and it does not do what it’s supposed to do within our hearts. Our idolatry, our lust for more, more, more, hinders us from hearing God’s word. It keeps us from speaking on God’s behalf. Our ability to perceive and understand things on a spiritual level is greatly diminished. We become like our idols. Yell at them all day long and they won’t hear. Bang at them with a hammer and they won’t flinch. This is what happens to man’s soul when he becomes entrenched in idolatry.
It’s something for us to think about today in prayer. Lord, help us to expose our idolatry. May we smash our idols before you, Lord, so that our eyes, ears, hearts, hands, feet and mouths may be used only for You.
Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
(1 John 5:21)