The Prophecies Of Isaiah
"This is what the Lord says---Israel's King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from Me there is no God." (Isaiah 44:6) When Isaiah preaches this message the people of Judah have not yet fallen into the idolatry which will be prevalent in the generation that will go into captivity. In Isaiah's day they had a godly king who followed the Lord and removed the idols from the land. But periods of idolatry were in Judah's past and the human weakness that leads mankind into following after the wrong things is always present. Temptation is in our path daily. The world constantly offers us substitutes for the living God, promising us that more money or things or status or substances or relationships or carnal pleasures will fill up the emptiness in our souls. A false god doesn't have to be a carved block of wood overlaid with silver or gold. Satan has refined his tactics over the millennia. He knows that in prosperous first-world countries we would refuse to bow before a graven image but we would eagerly line up to bow before wealth or success. Anything that means more to us than God, or anything we think about more than God, or anything we spend more time serving than God, is just as much an idol as one carved from a block of wood.