All who make idols are nothing, and what they treasure benefits no one. Their witnesses do not see or know anything, so they will be put to shame. Who makes a god or casts a metal image that benefits no one? Look, all its worshipers will be put to shame, and the craftsmen are humans. They all will assemble and stand; they all will be startled and put to shame.
The ironworker labors over the coals, shapes the idol with hammers, and works it with his strong arm. Also he grows hungry and his strength fails; he doesn’t drink water and is faint.
The woodworker stretches out a measuring line, he outlines it with a stylus; he shapes it with chisels and outlines it with a compass. He makes it according to a human form, like a beautiful person, to dwell in a temple. He cuts down cedars for his use, or he takes a cypress or an oak. He lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a laurel, and the rain makes it grow. A person can use it for fuel. He takes some of it and warms himself; also he kindles a fire and bakes bread; he even makes it into a god and worships it; he makes an idol from it and bows down to it. He burns half of it in a fire, and he roasts meat on that half. He eats the roast and is satisfied. He warms himself and says, “Ah! I am warm, I see the blaze.” He makes a god or his idol with the rest of it. He bows down to it and worships; he prays to it, “Save me, for you are my god.”
Such people do not comprehend and cannot understand, for he has shut their eyes so they cannot see, and their minds so they cannot understand. No one comes to his senses; no one has the perception or insight to say, “I burned half of it in the fire, I also baked bread on its coals, I roasted meat and ate. Should I make something detestable with the rest of it? Should I bow down to a block of wood? ” He feeds on ashes. His deceived mind has led him astray, and he cannot rescue himself, or say, “Isn’t there a lie in my right hand? ”
“Come, gather together, and approach, you fugitives of the nations. Those who carry their wooden idols and pray to a god who cannot save have no knowledge.
They lift it to their shoulder and bear it along; they set it in its place, and there it stands; it does not budge from its place. They cry out to it but it doesn’t answer; it saves no one from his trouble.
But where are your gods you made for yourself? Let them rise up and save you in your time of disaster if they can, for your gods are as numerous as your cities, Judah.
If you return, Israel — this is the LORD’s declaration — you will return to me, if you remove your abhorrent idols from my presence and do not waver then you can swear, “As the LORD lives,” in truth, justice, and righteousness, and then the nations will be blessed by him and will boast in him.
for the customs of the peoples are worthless. Someone cuts down a tree from the forest; it is worked by the hands of a craftsman with a chisel. He decorates it with silver and gold. It is fastened with hammer and nails, so it won’t totter. Like scarecrows in a cucumber patch, their idols cannot speak. They must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them for they can do no harm — and they cannot do any good.
They drank the wine and praised their gods made of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone.
What use is a carved idol after its craftsman carves it? It is only a cast image, a teacher of lies. For the one who crafts its shape trusts in it and makes worthless idols that cannot speak.
Since, then, we are God’s offspring, we shouldn’t think that the divine nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image fashioned by human art and imagination.
For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, that is, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what he has made. As a result, people are without excuse. For though they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became worthless, and their senseless hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles.