In many religions, people make images which they then pray to as their gods. That was usual in most of the religions that existed at the time of Paul.
Paul is not saying that those religions are worse than other religions. In fact, the people in those religions are often sincere people who live moral lives. However, Paul shows that we can identify an important lesson about human behaviour from those religions.
People across the world, whether they have a religion or not, are behaving in an extraordinary manner. Of course everyone should respect God greatly, because he made them. However, few people truly give God the honour that he deserves. Many things seem more important to them than God does. However, even when people are not living in a very evil manner, they rarely choose to obey God. Therefore, the true God does not receive the most important place in their lives, as he deserves (Mark 12:28-31). Instead, people usually give him the least important place, if they let him have any place whatever in their lives (John 1:11).
Of course an image that people made created nobody. Of course such an image is unable to save (rescue) the person who prays to it (Isaiah 44:9-20). However, the people who belong to such religions usually remain loyal to those false gods (Jeremiah 2:11).
So, we should all learn to be loyal to the true God. We should turn from our evil deeds to invite him into our lives (John 1:12-13). We should give him the place that he deserves in our lives.
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© 2017, Keith Simons.