“You have committed adultery on every high mountain. There you have worshiped idols and have been unfaithful to me. You have put pagan symbols on your doorposts and behind your doors. You have left me and climbed into bed with these detestable gods. You have committed yourselves to them. You love to look at their naked bodies. You have given olive oil to Molech with many gifts of perfume. You have traveled far, even into the world of the dead, to find new gods to love.
“You grew weary in your search, but you never gave up. Desire gave you renewed strength, and you did not grow weary. Are you afraid of these idols? Do they terrify you? Is that why you have lied to me and forgotten me and my words? Is it because of my long silence that you no longer fear me?
“Now I will expose your so-called good deeds. None of them will help you. Let’s see if your idols can save you when you cry to them for help. Why, a puff of wind can knock them down! If you just breathe on them, they fall over! But whoever trusts in me will inherit the land and possess my holy mountain.” (Isaiah 57:7-13)
Marriage is an exclusive relationship where a man and a woman become one. Adultery breaks this beautiful bond of unity. When the people turned from God and gave their love to idols, God said they were committing adultery—breaking their exclusive commitment to God by worshiping idols like Molech, an Ammonite god. How could people give their love to worthless wood and stone instead of to the God who made them and loved them so very much? We might ask that question, yet fall into that trap ourselves when we put people and things ahead of God on our list of priorities.
God promised to expose their righteousness and works for what they really were—mere pretentions of doing good. Isaiah warned his people that their righteousness and works would not save them any more than their weak, worthless idols.
We cannot gain our salvation through good deeds because our best deeds are not good enough to outweigh our sins. Salvation is a gift from God, received only through faith in Christ, not good deeds (Ephesians 2:8-9). If you know someone who still depends on his or her reputation instead of God, pray for that person and for an opportunity to share God’s grace with him or her.