Silly Love Songs
Scripture Reading — Isaiah 40:18-31
18 To whom, then, will you compare God? What image will you compare him to? 19 As for an idol, a craftsman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and fashions silver chains for it. 20 A man too poor to present such an offering selects wood that will not rot. He looks for a skilled craftsman to set up an idol that will not topple. 21 Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? 22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. 23 He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. 24 No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff. 25 "To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One. 26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. 27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God"? 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. —
Whatever we think we need to make us happy is what we actually worship. Here's one way to tell whether our hearts are in the right place: pick a favorite hymn or praise song and insert a reference to what you might depend on in place of words referring to "God" or "the Lord." For example, using the tune to How Great Thou Art, sing (if you like), "O lord, my money, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the things that you can buy; I see the cars, I hear the mighty motor, its power throughout the neighborhood displayed." Silly, isn't it? Yet if we think that money and things will make us happy, and that's what we're living for, this is the song of our heart even if it's not the song on our lips. If lust is our main attraction, the song of our heart is "O god! Your body!" Or if we think drinking is how to find happiness, our song is "O king of beers!" Or how about worship of the self: "Then sings my soul, my savior god is me: how great I am, how great I am!" So silly. So sad. So serious. "The proper test of what [we] really prefer is to see what [we] actually cleave to and practice when given a choice," writes Jonathan Edwards. "Sincerity of religion consists in setting God highest in the heart, in choosing him above everything else, and in giving up everything for Christ."
"Search me, O God, and know my heart ... See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Help me to worship you only, Lord. In Jesus, Amen.