They hire a goldsmith, and he makes it a god; They prostrate themselves, yes, they worship... they carry it and set it in its place, and it stands; From its place it shall not move. Though one cries out to it, yet it cannot answer nor save him out of his trouble.
Remember this, and show yourselves men; recall to mind, O you transgressors. Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other.
In today's first verse, I propose two word substitutions: 'technician' for 'goldsmith' and 'the screen' for 'it.' Now consider this interpretation of Isaiah 46:6-7:
'They hire a technician, and he makes the screen a god; They prostrate themselves, yes, they worship... They carry the screen and set it in its place, and it stands; From its place it shall not move. Though one cries out to the screen, yet it cannot answer nor save him out of his trouble.'
Undeniably, we made the screen named media a god. We worship the stars upon it. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average citizen spends just under 40 hours a week in attendance to a screen.* Instead of imitating Christ, we imitate celebrity. Instead of following Jesus, we follow our favorite shows.
Here's the question of the day: Where were God's people when the gods of media began rising? After all, the clear majority of the U.S. population identifies itself as Christian. Did we speak up? Did we pray? Did we enter Hollywood to influence this new culture for good?
Maybe at the beginning we did and maybe it helped.* But as decades advanced and technology grew, we grew complacent. We reclined in our La-Z-Boys, and lazy boys we became. We loved God and went to church. But we loved our idols, too.
God says we can't do both: 'You have left your first love' (Revelation 2:4). To put it bluntly:
'Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God' (James 4:4). Even more: 'Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God's love for them' (Jonah 2:8).
Admittedly, a small minority of Christians became vocal opponents of Hollywood and media. They ranted, raved and boycotted. They did not show the love of Christ to an alien culture, but the opposite. The result of their hatred? Poor press for Christ.
God wants neither lazy boys nor surly teens. He says instead, 'Show yourselves men.'
To Be Continued...
*Screen time stats: http://www.movieguide.org/news-articles/media-consumption-and-trends.html
**Dr. Ted Baehr is an expert on the subject of Christians in relation to Hollywood and film. http://tedbaehr.com, http://www.amazon.com/Succeed-Hollywood-Without-Losing-Your/dp/B0064XBE8O
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the America's Shame series.