They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. (II Kings 17:15)
If someone asks how much we are worth, our thoughts might jump to the balance in our bank accounts. Yet, real worth is not measured in dollar bills. We weigh human value on a different scale. Honesty, dependability, and skill mean more than wealth. We know that. But there is more to the picture. There is the view from heaven.
“They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless.” That’s God speaking.
Is he referring to us? The first thought might be, absolutely not! This applies to those who follow idols. That’s not us. We don’t worship the sun or sacrifice to a stone god. We’re not idolaters! But then, our conscience might remind us that there have been times when we have placed something higher in our lives than the Lord our God. There may have been occasions when we did depend upon the dollar in our pocket more than the Creator in the heavens. Maybe sometimes we did feel safer because of that good luck charm we carried. Maybe we have, once in a while, placed our silly wants higher than God’s glorious will.
It seems we must admit that we have not always feared, loved, and trusted God above all things. Maybe we are not keeping the 1st Commandment even now. Does that make us worthless? The big question is, how valuable are we to God? Does he need us? No. Have we faithfully carried out the assignments he has given us? No. Can we honestly assure him that from now on we will do exactly what he says? That we cannot do. To those worried about not having enough to meet earthly needs, Jesus once said, “So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:31) Is that all? Only more valuable than some birds? Have we inflated our value in our own minds like we inflate air into a tire? Is our self-worth only hot air?
Are we worth nothing?
Value is determined by someone else. The boss pays his worker a high salary because he values the skill and hard work. Good evaluation reports put us in good standing with superiors. How much are we valued by the Lord of the heavens? He has not just told us; he has shown us. From a center cross on Golgotha, the Son of God said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and died—for us. We are forgiven. The value is not in us. The value has been placed upon us. We have been bought with the lifeblood of the Son of God.
Worthless we are not.
We pray: Holy and loving God, it is awesome to think that we are precious in your sight. Keep reminding us of that. Send the Holy Spirit to us in rich measure so that we might be empowered to more and more live a life that reflects the value you have placed upon us. Amen.
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military, Cape Coral, Florida-Provided by WELS Ministry to the Military