In my distress I called to the LORD;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears. 18:6
They cried for help, but there was no one to save them—
to the LORD, but he did not answer. 18:41
One day, my wife took the grandkids on a shopping spree at Five and Below. Afterwards they came home with bags and bags of stuff, and I do mean “stuff.” To me, it really is amazing how much “stuff” Five and Below can peddle with a $4.99 price tag on it, but they know how to do it and do it well! One of the older kids, having outgrown the balls, dolls, toy sunglasses, and slime, had an eye for some of the more high-end merchandise. She found an ornate statute equipped with a peaceful waterfall to enhance the ambiance of her room. Unbeknownst to her, the chubby little figure was none other than ole Buddha.
Buddha managed to travel quite well until her mom discovered him, and then no one wanted to transport or house him. Then the back and forth started. “I am not keeping him; you keep him!” The only thing that was settled was that Buddha had to go! But the problem now became who was willing to house him until he could be taken back and swapped for something else at the store. Where would he stay, in the house or the garage? How would he travel, in the cabin, the trunk, or on the roof?
Afterwards, we got a real laugh out of the whole Buddha dilemma. But what’s the real problem with the statute? First and foremost, God said, “You shall have no other gods before me.” Then he further elaborates on the issue of idolatry by saying, “You shall not make for yourself and image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or waters below (Ex. 20:3-4).”
The Psalmist highlights another really big problem with idols in the eighteenth chapter, can your god hear? Now mind you, Buddha does have ears on him, but they are made out of stone. If someone was shopping for a god, the first item on the list should be, is not only does he have ears, but can he actually hear you when you call! The Psalmist said, “In my distress, I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help.” If your god can’t hear you when you call, then you don’t have the true and living God, you have an idol!
In the verses that follow, the Psalmist describes in vivid detail how not only did his God hear him when he issued the distress call, but he made a splendid display of power to come down and rescue him and cause him to triumph over his enemies. In verse 40, endued with strength from on high, the Psalmist peruses his enemies and destroys them! But one thing that the Psalmist identified that spelled certain defeat for his enemies. It was not that they were out gunned or that he out maneuvered them. No, the problem with his enemies was that when they cried for help, there was no one to save them! At this point, I would have concluded that they cried out to their gods and they couldn’t hear them, but it its worse than that! The Psalmist says that “they cried to the LORD, but he did not answer them (Ps. 18:41).”
This is a very serious matter and something that must be checked before entering into battle. The Bible tells us that “the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer … (1 Peter 3:12).” But who are the righteous? Righteousness is state of being of one that is in right-relationship with God. You must enter into a relationship with God accepting what his Son did for you on the cross and making him the Lord of your life (Rom. 6:23, 10:9). Then you become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21). And now that you know you are in right-relationship with God, you can also know that he hears you when you call!