Scripture: Isaiah 46.5
With whom will you compare me or count me equal?
To whom will you liken me that we may be compared?

Reflection: On Idolizing Man :: Throwback Thursday
By Richard Baxter (1615-1691)

This iniquity [idolizing man] consists not simply in the heart’s neglect of God, but in the preferring of some competitor, and prevalence of some object which stands up for an opposite interest. So obeying man before God and against him, and valuing the favor and approbation of man before or against the approbation of God, and fearing of man’s censure or displeasure more than God’s, is idolizing Man, or setting him up in the place of God.

It turns our chief observance, and care, and labor, and pleasure, and grief into this human, fleshly channel, and makes all that to be but human in our hearts and lives, which should be divine.

As all other creatures, so especially man, must be regarded and valued only in a due subordination and subserviency to God. If they be valued otherwise, they are made his enemies, and so are to be hated, and are made the principal engine of the ruin of such as overvalue them.

See what the scriptures say of this sin:

Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who draws strength from mere flesh
and whose heart turns away from the Lord. — Jeremiah 17.5

The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me? — Psalm 118.6

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in humans.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in princes. — Psalm 118.8-9

Understand well what the nature of this sin consists of, that you may not run into the contrary extreme, but may know which way to bend your opposition—how far we may and must please men, and how far not.

*Abridged and language updated from Directions against Idolizing Man.

Prayer: The Call to Prayer
Come, let us sing to the Lord;…for the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. — Psalm 95.1, 3

– Prayer from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.

Full prayer available online and in print.

Today’s Readings
Isaiah 46 (Listen – 2:12)
Revelation 16 (Listen – 3:17)

Additional Reading
Read More about What Slavery We Choose
What a task have people-pleasers! They have as many masters as beholders! No wonder it takes them from the service of God.

Read More about Idolatry of Self-Confidence
Shall I tell you where the men are who believe most in themselves? The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums.