For Israel has forgotten his Maker and built palaces;
And Judah has multiplied fortified cities,
But I will send a fire on its cities that it may consume its palatial dwellings, (8:14).
Their disease was chronic, and the prognosis bleak; as with physical health that is so desired but often neglected. Some maladies are unexplainable, but there are infirmities that can be directly attributed to behaviors; poor diet, lack of exercise, certain habits and addictions can consume physical well-being like a ravenous predator. And this morning we see the underlying cause of the people’s debility and demise; they had forgotten Him, Our Maker.
Careful documentation of the deeds that resulted in their terminal condition is presented, and a marked contrast arises between disease and health, alluding to the cause of their condition: man chose to put himself in the place of maker rather than God.
But in His grace, He again called for the warning to be sounded; a warning He had repeatedly sent; a warning His people had repeatedly refused to accept.
Put the trumpet to your lips!
Like an eagle the enemy comes against the house of the Lord,
Because they have transgressed My covenant
And rebelled against My law, (8:1).
And now in this place of realizing their predicament is indeed fatal, it is now that they call out to Him; like one who has been regularly warned of what is waiting if lifestyle habits remain unchecked, but repeatedly refusing to comply. And as the doctor delivers the prognosis of only weeks to live, it is then the patient determines to do what had been recommended for the past many years; but it all proves to be too little, too late.
They cry out to Me,
“My God, we of Israel know You!”
3 Israel has rejected the good;
The enemy will pursue him, (8:2-3).
Choices have consequences. But even when armed with the facts that certain consequences will undoubtedly result from certain choices, many make the choice to forget, choosing to push it out of mind in hopes that the predicted outcomes will remain out of sight, much like the ostrich sticking his head in the sand. And even if they had been provided with ten thousand ways to avoid the onset of disease, they continue to pursue their own way.
And the sad reality is, God had given everything needed for health and life, but in their pride and passion decided this simply did not apply to them.
Though I wrote for him ten thousand precepts of My law,
They are regarded as a strange thing. (8:12).
And so they persisted to forget, persisted to run after their passions rather than Him, Our Maker. And another intimation was made of the rampant harlotry that had consumed His people, had swallowed and used them up, demeaning them as the unwanted prostitute who must pay for lovers to continue in the chosen lifestyle of harlotry, depicting the abject despair in man setting himself up as maker.
Israel is swallowed up;
They are now among the nations
Like a vessel in which no one delights.
9 For they have gone up to Assyria,
Like a wild donkey all alone;
Ephraim has hired lovers, (8:8-9).
They became their own maker of kings, princes and idols.
They have set up kings, but not by Me;
They have appointed princes, but I did not know it.
With their silver and gold they have made idols for themselves,
That they might be cut off. (8:4).
They became their own maker of their idols and idolatry.
For from Israel is even this!
A craftsman made it, so it is not God;
Surely the calf of Samaria will be broken to pieces. (8:6).
They became their own maker of altars for sin.
Since Ephraim has multiplied altars for sin,
They have become altars of sinning for him, (8:11).
Because they became their own maker, they were absolutely incapable of innocence.
He has rejected your calf, O Samaria, saying,
“My anger burns against them!”
How long will they be incapable of innocence? (8:5).
Because they became their own maker, it would all be gone with the wind.
For they sow the wind
And they reap the whirlwind.
The standing grain has no heads;
It yields no grain.
Should it yield, strangers would swallow it up. (8:7).
And because they became their own maker, their offerings were deemed unacceptable and condemned before Him, Our Maker.
As for My sacrificial gifts,
They sacrifice the flesh and eat it,
But the Lord has taken no delight in them.
Now He will remember their iniquity,
And punish them for their sins;
They will return to Egypt. (8:13).
The people had made gods for themselves, gods who did not make anything, gods that would perish.
Thus you shall say to them, “The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.” (Jeremiah 10:11).
And the contrast is clearly portrayed between man as maker and Him, Our Maker. Man as his own maker leads to death. Only God, Our Maker gives life and breath to all things.
The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things, (Acts 17:24-25).
Consider Him, Our Maker
- He is Our Maker Who Made the heavens and earth.
- In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, (Genesis 1:1).
- He is Our Maker Who Made the heavens and earth by His great power and outstretched arm.
- “Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You,” (Jeremiah 32:17).
- He is Our Maker Who Made all things through the Word Who was in the beginning.
- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being, (John 1:1-3).
- He is Our Maker Who Made us in His own image.
- Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them, (Genesis 1:26-27).
- He is Our Maker Who Made us to become His spouse through faith in His Redeeming Love.
- “For your husband is your Maker,
Whose name is the Lord of hosts;
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel,
Who is called the God of all the earth, (Isaiah 54:5:).
- “For your husband is your Maker,
- He is Our Maker Who Makes us His new creation through faith in Christ.
- Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17 CSB).
- He is Our Maker Who Makes a place in heaven for all who believe in Him.
- “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also,” (John 14:1-3).
- He is Our Maker Who is Making all things new.
- And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” 6 Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end…” (Revelation 21:5-6).
How do we respond to Him, Our Maker?
When we consider Him, Our Maker, Who Made all things by His eternal, incomparable power, is it not beyond comprehension that He even gives us a thought?
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
4 What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him? (Psalm 8:3-4).
But oh, He has given so much more than a thought; He gave His Son.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life,” (John 3:16).
He gave His son that we would be Made in His image as He Makes all things work together to accomplish His good purpose.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren, (Romans 8:28-29).
But the truth is, sometimes all things working for our good, doesn’t always feel good. In those times, the enemy comes to tempt us to make our own way out. Oh, let us remember that making our own way is the way of death.
There is a way which seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death, (Proverbs 14:12).
Today, let us learn from those who chose to reject Him and make their own way, that we would daily look with dependence to where our only help comes from, that we would bow in faith as we lift our eyes to Him, Our Maker.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth, (Psalm 121:1-2 NIV).
The day is coming when we will be gathered together around His throne to worship Him, Our Maker for all of eternity.
the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” (Revelation 4:10-11).
But let us not wait for eternity. Oh, may we practice humility as our lifestyle habit, that we would daily find ourselves in the healthiest place we can ever be, bowing down in worship before Him, Our Maker.
Come, let us worship and bow down,
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
7 For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand… (Psalm 95:6-7).