Psalm 135:18

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 18. They that make them are like unto them. they are as blockish, as senseless, as stupid as the gods they have made, and, like them they are the objects of divine abhorrence, and shall be broken in pieces in due time. So is every one that trusteth in them. The idol worshippers are as bad as the idol makers; for if there were none to worship, there would be no market for the degrading manufacture. Idolaters are spiritually dead, they are the mere images of men, their best being is gone, they are not what they seem. Their mouths do not really pray, their eyes see not the truth, their ears hear not the voice of the Lord, and the life of God is not in them. Those who believe in their own inventions in religion betray great folly, and an utter absence of the quickening Spirit. Gracious men can see the absurdity of forsaking the true God and setting up rivals in his place; but those who perpetrate this crime think not so: on the contrary, they pride themselves upon their great wisdom, and boast of "advanced thought" and "modern culture." Others there are who believe in a baptismal regeneration which does not renew the nature, and they make members of Christ and children of God who have none of the spirit of Christ, or the signs of adoption. May we be saved from such mimicry of divine work lest we also become like our idols.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 18. Like them shall be those making them, every one who (is) trusting in them. If the meaning had been simply, those who make them are like them, Hebrew usage would have required the verb to be suppressed. Its insertion, therefore, in the future form (wyhy) requires it to be rendered strictly shall be, i.e., in fate as well as character. Idolaters shall perish with their perishable idols. See Isaiah 1:31 . --Joseph Addison Alexander.

Verse 18. People never rise above the level of their gods, which are to them their better nature. --Andrew Robert Faussett.

Verse 18. They that make them are like unto them. Idolatry is a benumbing sin, which bereaveth the idolater of the right use of his senses. --David Dickson.

Verse 18. They that make them, etc. Teacheth us, that the idol, the idol maker, and all such also as serve idols, are not only beastly and blockish before men, but shall before God, in good time, come to shame and confusion. --Thomas Wilcocks, 1549-1608.

Verse 18. Like unto them. A singular phenomenon, known as the Spectre of the Brocken, is seen on a certain mountain in Germany. The traveller who at dawn stands on the topmost ridge beholds a colossal shadowy spectre. But in fact it is only his own shadow projected upon the morning mists by the rising sun; and it imitates, of course, every movement of its creator. So heathen nations have mistaken their own image for Deity. Their gods display human frailties and passions and scanty virtues, projected and magnified upon the heavens, just as the small figures on the slide of a magic lantern are projected, magnified, and illuminated upon a white sheet. --From Elan Foster's New Cyclopoedia of Illustrations, 1870.

Verse 18. Like unto them. How many are like idol images, when they have eyes, ears, and mouths as though they had none: that is, when they do not use them when and how they should! --Christoph Starke.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 18.

  1. Men make idols like themselves.
  2. The idols make their makers like themselves. Describe both processes.