Hab 2:18-19 “What profit is an idol when its maker has shaped it, a metal image, a teacher of lies? For its maker trusts in his own creation when he makes speechless idols! Woe to him who says to a wooden thing, Awake; to a silent stone, Arise! Can this teach? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in it. (ESV)
Idolatry is among the hottest topics of the entire bible – Old or New Testament. It is the subject of the first two commandments (Ex 20:2-6). In those two commandments God uses nearly as many words as in the other eight put together. The first commandment says to have no gods except YHWH and the second essentially says not to make or worship idols. Jews were unique among their neighboring cultures because they were monotheistic. They were also unique because they did not make images of God to worship. It is in the second commandment where God reveals His divine jealousy. If there’s anything that invites God’s anger, it is turning creation – wood or metal – into idols for false worship. Heaped on top of all the other sins of Babylon, their Idolatry is like the proverbial last straw. These people who think they are so smart and capable and protected are also superstitious heathens who refuse to accept the simple truth that the only real God must be Creator, not created. Habakkuk goes on mocks the foolishness of seeking wisdom from a dead thing. He asks, “can this teach?” Of course God is the source of wisdom as well as life. Idols have neither.