“Of what value is an idol carved by a craftsman? Or an image that teaches lies? For the one who makes it trust in his own creation; he makes idols that cannot speak. Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Come to life!’ or to lifeless stone, ‘Wake up!’ Can it give guidance? It is covered with gold and silver and there is no breath in it.” (Habakkuk 2:18, 19 NIV)
Mention of idols and their worthlessness has been made before regarding the foolishness of men who trust in man-made objects as part of their religious beliefs. Paganism has always entreated people to believe in images and other objects made by the hands of men and in our time–made by machines for mass productions. The mass production is to make sure those promoting the value of the object make money, but the “thing” itself has no value and can do nothing on its own.
When we pray to “things” rather than to our Holy God, who is unseen by the visible eye, but lives in the hearts of every Believer, we negate faith in our Holy God–giving precedence to the “things” we can either hold in our hands, or gaze upon with our eyes. The statutes carved out of stone have no life in them; the beads and baubles strung upon review mirrors have no life in them; the images of Jesus and Mary have no life in them–they are artist’s perceptions of what Jesus and Mary “could have looked like” but no one knows for sure since there was no replication equipment available during the times in which they lived.
This is not an indictment against religious organizations who promote the use of things as part of their worship service--it is an acknowledgment that the things have no power–or value–and therefore should not take the place of having a relationship with God--who created the substance of all the things made. The real problem with the use of things is that people demonstrate a lack of faith in God without their use. God has come to the assistance of those who seek Him out of sincerity and He has used those “living, breathing beings” as messengers to speak to people, but He has never used anything that did not have life within it to do anything.
Now, some may argue that He used a desert full of dry bones to demonstrate His power and He did–not while they were dead and had no life, but He gave the dry bones life and He never told anyone to worship them, anymore than He told anyone to worship a thing. If we remember The Word–we would know that an entire family was destroyed because they had “hidden the detestable thing” in their tent–an idol used by the enemy to worship and God has said, we should worship “no graven image” or object. That is very clear. But because some insist on giving things power, their paganistic beliefs have led to all sorts of superstitions regarding things–broken mirrors, walking on cracks on a sidewalk, spilled salt, chicken bones, and ladders. I’m sure there are others, but these are things that come to mind. Notice–none of these things have ever had life in them or breathed on their own.
The very next verse of scripture in Habakkuk tells that the Lord is in His Holy Temple–one that we could not see for it resides in heaven, but through Jesus and the work on the cross–we are the temple where the Holy Spirit dwells–living and breathing in us.
We should not be afraid of “things” representing good or evil since they have no life, cannot breathe on their own, and they have no power to do anything. So–all the devil worshipers can worship their things and images, but those who profess belief in God should not be concerned about the images having any power because they have none. The real power of God lies within every heart of every person whose faith is in Him, not things!