Since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--His eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen. Romans 1:20
It is said that the Iroquois Indians were so impressed by the wonder of Niagara Falls that they worshiped it. French missionaries preached to them there, pointing out that the things in nature are the works of God, not God Himself. The ancient Greeks likewise blurred the distinction between Creator and creation, identifying the goddess Gaea with the earth. An echo of that error remains in the expression "Mother Earth," as though the earth, if not itself divine, at least has divine power. An even greater heresy, continuing to this day, is the belief that the human being is divine, either as part of God or as God Himself.
Saint Paul, who penetrated the pagan world, ran across many religious beliefs. In Lystra, when he healed a crippled man, the people shouted, "The gods have come down to us in human form" (Acts 14:11). They tried to identify Paul and Barnabas with Hermes and Zeus, respectively. The apostle would have none of this. He said, "We too are only men, human like you" (Acts 14:15). Then he proceeded to preach to them about "the living God, who made heaven and earth and the sea and everything in them" (Acts 14:15). This living God sent His Son into the world to teach and to lay down His life for the redemption of sinners.
In his epistle to the Romans Saint Paul points out that it is not only a sin but is already God's punishment when people, in their perversion of the truth, "worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator" (Romans 1:25). This is not letting God be God. This is the sin of rejecting the natural knowledge of God with which people are born and turning to creatures as idols.
Who is our God? What do we consider as our highest good? Is it gold or silver? Is it pleasure? Is it some human being? To fear, love, and trust in a created thing as though it were God is the master sin of idolatry. God wants us to keep the faith that He has revealed in Jesus Christ, His Son, through whose merit we have salvation.
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord God, for all the blessings You bestow on us. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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