“And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith Deliver me; for thou art my god.” – Isaiah 44:17
When I was in my early teens, I went through a particularly hard time where it seemed things were always against me. There were troubles at school, troubles with siblings, and troubles with my parents not understanding me or treating me right.
To make things better I found a refuge from all my oppressors. I would leave our home and walk or run the small distance down to the river below our house. There I would take a short game trail through the brush to “my” tree. This tree had a large branch that stretched out over the water. It was positioned in a way that I could sit on the branch with my back against the tree’s trunk and daydream or drop a fishing line into the water. When up in “my” tree, somehow all my anxieties would disappear, as if I were alone in the world. But within a few hours, after my initial depression disappeared, it would be time to head up to the house to go to bed or have supper.
As I walked back up toward the house, I would normally be calm and resigned to the unfairness of the world toward me. And though time at my tree had allowed emotions to subside, it had provided no lasting relief or deliverance from them.
The focus verse from Isaiah talks about all the things man can make and call a god. But for all his effort, his god is just something created by man, unable to respond in any way. As a boy I tried to find help from a tree, but ultimately it could not change a thing about my problems. Nothing created by man can provide comfort, guidance, peace, protection or anything else we may need. They are empty and powerless.
How different that is from the one true God whom we serve! He does hear our prayers, and we can find real deliverance in Him. The salvation God offers is life-changing, delivering from sin and its hold on a person’s life. He makes life new, giving individuals purpose and promising to supply every need. He is the only One we can always turn to, and there is no problem too big or too small for Him.
God is always available to supply the endurance we need in the hard times, and protection from the traps of the enemy. Whatever challenge we may be facing today, let us be sure to seek deliverance from the God in Heaven who hears and answers prayer.