They ·traded [exchanged] the glory of ·God who lives forever [the immortal/imperishable God] for the worship of ·idols [images] made to look like ·earthly [mortal; perishable] people, birds, animals, and reptiles.
They gave up the glory of God who lives forever. They traded that glory for the worship of idols made to look like earthly people. They traded God’s glory for things that look like birds, animals, and snakes.
But God’s angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth. But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.
And they changed the glory of uncorruptible God into the likeness of an image of a deadly man [into the likeness of an image of corruptible man], and of birds, and of four-footed beasts, and of serpents.
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