The golden idol
but clay after all!
(Arthur Pink, "A Fourfold Salvation" 1938)
God delivers us from the love and pollution of sin—by bitter disappointments. God has plainly warned us of the vanity of all earthly pursuits. "When I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 2:11) This was written by one who was permitted to gratify the physical senses as no other ever has. Yet we do not take this warning to heart, for we do not really believe it. On the contrary, we persuade ourselves that satisfaction is to be found in things under the sun—that the creature can give contentment to our hearts. As well attempt to fill a circle with a square! The heart was made for God—and He alone can meet its needs. But by nature we are idolaters, putting things in His place. Those things we invest with pleasing qualities which they do not possess, and sooner or later our delusions are rudely exposed to us, and we discover that the pleasing images in our minds are only dreams—that the golden idol is but clay after all!
God may so order His providences, that our earthly nest is destroyed. The winds of adversity compel us to leave the downy bed of carnal ease and luxury. Grievous losses are experienced in some form or other. Trusted friends prove fickle, and in the hour of need fail us. The family circle, which had so long sheltered us and where peace and happiness were found, is broken up by the grim hand of death. Health fails, and weary nights are our portion. These trying experiences, these bitter disappointments, are another of the means which our gracious God employs to save us from the love and pollution of sin. By them, He reveals to us the vanity and vexation of the creature. By them, He weans us more completely from the world. By them, He teaches us that the objects in which we sought satisfaction, are but "broken cisterns," —that we may turn to Christ and draw from Him who is the living water, the One who alone can supply true satisfaction of soul.