Daily Radio Bible Podcast
July 24, Are You Feeding on Ashes?
Today’s readings are Isaiah 43-45 and I Peter 4. We are reading from the New Living Translation.
Are you feeding on ashes?
The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes. He trusts something that can’t help him at all. Yet he cannot bring himself to ask, “Is this idol that I’m holding in my hand a lie?” (Isa 44:20 NLT)
In Isaiah we read that the one who worships idols feeds on ashes. He tries to find his sustenance and salvation for his soul, through the work of his own hands. And, in so doing, he feeds himself ashes. He plants a tree, then he cuts it down. He makes himself warm by its fire, makes a meal, and feeds himself. He says, that’s good. And it’s is good. But it’s not good enough. It’s not enough to warm and save his soul. So he takes what’s left of the tree and he carves it into an idol. He bows down and cries out to it, to save him. He bows down to the work of his hands. He tries to find his salvation and look for his hope, from the work of his own hands. There’s the lie, the conceit, and pride that has blinded us. All of our self-salvation strategies are an exercise in eating ashes.
Jesus shows us a better way. The enemy came to him to tempt him in the wilderness, to save himself from the hunger that could kill him, by turning the stones to bread. But Jesus ses through the lies of self-reliance. He refuses. Instead, he clings not to self-reliance, but to reliance on his father. He answers the tempter.
But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” (Mt 4:4 NLT)
If man depends on his own work, he’ll only be eating ashes. Man cannot save himself. Instead he must feed on every word that comes from the mouth of God. God alone can save us and satisfy our hunger. Like little birds that feed out of their returning mother’s mouth, this is how we are to live. We are completely dependent, trusting and looking to the God who comes to save and feed us.
So stop eating ashes – the work of your own hands. Stop your self-salvation strategies, your acts of piety and your own plans for numbing your pain. All the ways that we try to justify or rectify our brokenness are ashes. It’s only as we depend upon Christ, the Living Word, that has proceeded from the mouth of God, that we are saved and nourished. The mother eagle has arrived at your nest with food in her mouth. It is the living word of God. Take and eat it. In it is your salvation, hope, strength, and joy. Don’t eat ashes anymore. Eat the living Word and find life.
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