There is hope even for the idolater if only he is willing to repent, if only he is willing to turn to the God who saves. “But he who takes refuge in me,” says God, “shall possess the land and shall inherit my holy mountain.” It is never too late to turn to God, never too late to cry out to him for help and deliverance, never too late to flee to the one who is—and will always be—our refuge.
We are all prone to idolatry. We may consider ourselves far too advanced to bow before an idol of wood or stone, to bend the knee to the image of an animal or man. But none of us is immune from bowing before the idols of our dreams and desires, before the idols of our wandering hearts. None of us can forever resist the allure of our illicit longings, of finding hope in mere riches, of finding meaning in mere accolades. In one way or another we are all prone to idolatry. And idolatry is futility.
In the prophecies of Isaiah we hear the voice of God as he rebukes the nation of Israel for its commitment to idols. He challenges the people to consider the cost of turning away from the God who called them, the God who saved them, the God who loves them. “When you cry out,” he says, “let your collection of idols deliver you!”
He knows the day will come when his people will face a great calamity. He knows the day will come when his people will understand that they cannot save themselves. And in that time, he tells them, they ought to be consistent and cry out to their idols for help, for deliverance, for satisfaction. Cry out to those pieces of wood, cry out to those blocks of stone, and let them come to your rescue!
And what will happen? “The wind will carry them all off, a breath will take them away.”