Their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell; they have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but they cannot walk. (Psalm 115:4-7, NIV)
The psalmist is talking about idols—the things we put in the place that belongs to God, and here’s the punchline: “Those who make [idols] will be like them, and so will all who trust in them” (115:8).
When you put something else in the place of God, you lose the capacity of spiritual hearing and spiritual seeing. You lose the ability to walk in God’s ways and to taste and see that the Lord is good.
The long-term effect of putting anything in the place of God will be the shrinking of your soul. What are you living for? Career? Approval? Success? Pleasure? Put any of these in the place of God, and your soul will shrivel. If you want to be everything you can be, you must let God be God. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Prov. 1:7).
Before the Israelites went into the Promised Land, God warned them about the dangers of provoking him by making idols, “There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell” (Deut. 4:28).
The Israelites ended up worshipping gods of wood and stone; about 800 years later in the time of Jeremiah: “O Lord… you struck them, but they felt no pain; you crushed them, but they refused correction. They made their faces harder than stone and refused to repent” (Jer. 5:3).
Have you seen any of these effects of idolatry in your own life?