19 And no one considers in his heart, Nor is there understanding to say, "I have burned half of it in the fire, Yes, I have also baked bread on its coals: I have roasted meat and eaten it; And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?" 20 He feeds on ashes; A deceived heart has turned him aside; And he cannot deliver his soul, Nor say, "Is there not a lie in my right hand?"
Isaiah 44:19, 20
It is amazing to me how many times I've fed on spiritual ashes, delicious, candy coated, entertaining, yet empty of any nutritional value... ashes.
How many times as a youth I got high or drunk (before I met Jesus) only to wake up empty pocketed with an empty soul...
How many times I watched movies or played video games for hours on end only to feel spiritual void and empty of anything truly substantial.
It's amazing to me how in other cultures idolatry still consists or making, literally creating a 'god' with human hands and then falling down and worshiping it. Declaring to a block of wood, or gold or silver, or whatever earthly material it's made of, that YOU ARE MY GOD!... crazy!! Worshiping the work of ones own hands...
But I think we do it even more in North America, especially with the entertainment industry. Sitting around for hours on end watching and eating and soaking in mind-numbing entertainment... consider these statistics:
Television Statistics According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day (or 28 hours/week, or 2 months of nonstop TV-watching per year). In a 65-year life, that person will have spent 9 years glued to the tube. I.
- Percentage of households that possess at least one television: 99
- Number of TV sets in the average U.S. household: 2.24
- Percentage of U.S. homes with three or more TV sets: 66
- Number of hours per day that TV is on in an average U.S. home: 6 hours, 47 minutes
- Percentage of Americans that regularly watch television while eating dinner: 66
- Number of hours of TV watched annually by Americans: 250 billion
- Value of that time assuming an average wage of S5/hour: S1.25 trillion
- Percentage of Americans who pay for cable TV: 56
- Number of videos rented daily in the U.S.: 6 million
- Number of public library items checked out daily: 3 million
- Percentage of Americans who say they watch too much TV: 49
- Approximate number of studies examining TV's effects on children: 4,000
- Number of minutes per week that parents spend in meaningful conversation with their children: 3.5
- Number of minutes per week that the average child watches television: 1,680
- Percentage of day care centers that use TV during a typical day: 70
- Percentage of parents who would like to limit their children's TV watching: 73
- Percentage of 4-6 year-olds who, when asked to choose between watching TV and spending time with their fathers, preferred television: 54
- Hours per year the average American youth spends in school: 900 hours
- Hours per year the average American youth watches television: 1500 hours
- III VIOLENCE
- Number of murders seen on TV by the time an average child finishes elementary school: 8,000
- Number of violent acts seen on TV by age 18: 200,000
- Percentage of Americans who believe TV violence helps precipitate real life mayhem: 79
- IV. COMMERCIALISM
- Number of 30-second TV commercials seen in a year by an average child: 20,000
- Number of TV commercials seen by the average person by age 65: 2 million
- Percentage of survey participants (1993) who said that TV commercials aimed at children make them too materialistic: 92
- Rank of food products/fast-food restaurants among TV advertisements to kids: 1
- Total spending by 100 leading TV advertisers in 1993: $15 billion
- V. GENERAL
- Percentage of local TV news broadcast time devoted to advertising: 30
- Percentage devoted to stories about crime, disaster and war: 53.8
- Percentage devoted to public service announcements: 0.7
- Percentage of Americans who can name The Three Stooges: 59
- Percentage who can name at least three justices of the U.S. Supreme Court: 17
Compiled by TV-Free America1322 18th Street, NWWashington, DC 20036
Television is just one avenue (probably the main one) that societies worship. Would we rather be entertained than develop real, meaningful relationships? Would we rather feed on ashes because it's easier than hunting for meat?
Idol worship is fun... and easy... and everyone is doing it... but it's empty.
Let's be a generation that seeks after God with all of our hearts, because the invitation is too good!
20 "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
21 "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
Revelation 3:20, 21
Overcome what? I won't write out Revelation 3:14-22 in it's entirety, but I encourage you to read it... because I believe it speaks to a generation that is being overcome with apathy and a false sense of security in the stuff they have rather than the God they know. Get to know Jesus personally, His presence, grace, truth and love is better than any entertainment... no matter how tasty them ashes are!