Rats and Bats

Did you ever have a verse of scripture suddenly jump out at you, seemingly for no particular reason? On that day of judgment they will abandon the gold and silver idols they made for themselves to worship. They will leave their gods to the rats and bats. (Isaiah 2:20)

Rats and Bats

As you probably can tell, Isaiah rarely minced words.  When God gave him a message, he spoke it no matter what.  In the verses around this “rats and bats” passage, he tells Judah and Jerusalem the good and bad of what will happen when God returns.

He starts by telling what the actual reign of God will be like:   1This is a vision that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:  2In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house will be the highest of all—the most important place on earth.  It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship.  3People from many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of Jacob’s God.  There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For the Lord’s teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem.  4The Lord will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes.  They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.  Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore. (Isaiah 2:1-4)  It will be a time of peace under the reign of the Lord.

Unfortunately,  Judah was much like many of us today.  The people had lost their focus on God and were spending their time and energy on worthless idols.  These idols were things made by human hands.  There was nothing magical or otherworldly about them.  Whether they were statues, or groves of trees, or golden calves, or money or important positions, or sexual prowess, or power–are these starting to sound more like our current times?  Remember, History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

So, even though our idols may be different on the surface, human nature has always remained the same.  And we still make the same mistake in focusing more of our attention, time, money, and energy on things other than God.  Some of us try to fool ourselves by attending church on Sunday and making regular financial gifts.  We might even become involved in some sort of charitable work to make us feel good about ourselves.  When the time of the Lord’s return comes, 18Idols will completely disappear.  19When the Lord rises to shake the earth, his enemies will crawl into holes in the ground.  They will hide in caves in the rocks from the terror of the Lord and the glory of his majesty.  20On that day of judgment they will abandon the gold and silver idols they made for themselves to worship.  They will leave their gods to the rats and bats, 21while they crawl away into caverns and hide among the jagged rocks in the cliffs.  They will try to escape the terror of the Lord and the glory of his majesty as he rises to shake the earth.  22Don’t put your trust in mere humans.  They are as frail as breath.  What good are they? (Isaiah 2:18-22)

Frail as breath.  Not much hope in other humans or those idols, is there?  Besides, I really don’t like rats and bats.

2 thoughts on “Rats and Bats

  1. Ken, I feel like so much of what we do as American Christians is Jesus and… We want and have Jesus just like the ISraelites wanted and had God. However we want to mix Jesus with other things. Jesus and Yoga. Jesus and Reike. Jesus and money. Jesus and education. Likewise the ISraelites had God and Tammuz. God and the Queen of Heaven. God and Egypt’s army. God and wealth.
    The problem is God doesn’t deal in polluted mixtures. He deals in purity.


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