Deceptive Rhetoric

6 They lavish gold out of the bag, And weigh silver on the scales; They hire a goldsmith, and he makes it a god; They prostrate themselves, yes, they worship. (Isa 46:6 NKJ)

This is from our Bible study last night.  One of the interesting things about this verse is the word “god” there- it is the Hebrew el, meaning god.  No pagan would say that’s what they were doing.  They did not believe they were manufacturing a god.  They were manufacturing an idol, a powerful totem for interacting with the god, but the god itself long predated their birth.

But Isaiah will not allow them their rhetoric.  The god has no separate existence.  And they worship the idol which they have manufactured.  They use deceptive rhetoric to conceal what they are actually doing, but Isaiah will not permit it.  He speaks clear truth to reveal the true absurdity of what they are doing, something we see from Isaiah throughout, especially in the later chapters of the book.  They are not making a representation of a pre-existing entity; they are making something which they claim will save them, something for them to worship- a god.  Isaiah speaks truth.

And that got me to thinking– how much do we today allow the deceptive rhetoric of the modern haters of God drive our own discourse?  For the sake of being accepted, I find myself very often using the language of the world, thinking I will make myself more acceptable and therefore more convincing.  I hear many Christians using words like “brokenness” and “human flourishing” instead of words like “sin” and “the Law of God.”  It’s popular to talk about “sexual minorities” in certain Christian circles today.  Why the reluctance to use Biblical language and Biblical categories?  Is it this very thing- the desire to conceal the true nature of a thing?

The Bible is always refreshingly clear and honest in its language.  God always uses language to speak truth, as opposed to using language to manipulate, to make people feel the way we want them to.  This manipulative use of language is just a subtle form of lying, and it should have no place on the tongue of a believer.  We should be taught the right use of language from the tongue of God Himself who made us in His image.

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