What profit is an idol when its maker has shaped it, a metal image, a teacher of lies? For its maker trusts in his own creation when he makes speechless idols! Woe to him who says to a wooden thing, Awake; to a silent stone, Arise! Can this teach? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in it. But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him. Hab. 2:18-20 ESV.
The short book of Habakkuk was written during a time of tumult and difficulty in the history of the Jewish nation. Although the godly king Josiah had lead the people back to the Lord and instituted many reforms, Judah was still rotting from the inside out. During the reign of his successor Jehoiakim, Judah turned from revival back to their false gods. Habakkuk anticipates the coming judgement of Babylonian captivity and illustrates how foolish trusting in man-made idols truly is. He calls the earth to silence before a holy God.
Much like Habakkuk’s time we live in a time of rampant idolatry. We may not worship before golden images, but our culture is tuned toward worshipping and praising creation and the works of men rather than the Creator.
One of the things I love about the ministry of Ascend is the opportunities we have to call God’s people into silent contemplation. In the words of Thomas Merton: “If you go into solitude with a silent tongue, the silence of mute beings will share with you their rest. But if you go into solitude with a silent heart, the silence of creation will speak louder than the tongues of men or angels.” It is through silence and removal from distraction that we can put away our idols, tune our hearts to the Lord, and renew our union with Him. May you find some time in the coming days to worship the Lord in His holy temple and be silent before Him.