SOAP Journal Entry for May 18th, 2021
Therefore he sacrifices to his net and burns incense to his dragnet, for by his net he lives in luxury and enjoys the choicest food.Habakkuk 1:16
Idols aren’t always carved images. They can be other works of our own hands. In the case of the Babylonian army, they definitely relied on their ingenuity and technology as evidenced by the mention of their siegeworks.
This connection between war, technology, and affluence makes me think of post-WWII America. Technology wins wars and it advances civilization. There’s nothing wrong with it per se so long as we recognize it for the tool that it is. The image of someone bowing down to a net or burning incense to a dragnet illustrates the folly of relying on or crediting technology.
As with all foolish behaviors, this one is rooted in selfish desire. In their “nets” they had found a god whose job it was to feed them. How convenient for their gluttonous ways!
I think of the young man Watchman Nee referenced1 who recognized that he could do many things apart from God but that they would all be nothing.
There is nothing more subversive to a life of prayer and attention to God in my life than technology. I depend on it. I bow my head in its presence.
Tech of all kinds has made this country affluent and give us an all-too-fragile illusion of stability. Tech has lifted us above the struggle and privation. Then we have the illusion that we’re no longer fish in the sea but fishermen above the hazards of life. We take not though for anything above us.
The time I spend with technology is proof that I have time to pray. I want to keep my appointments with God, so that I won’t succumb to technolatry.
My God, I confess my unfaithfulness. I confess my pursuit of selfish and greedy goals. I pray that you will set my sights on your purposes for me which require your guidance and power. I renounce my faith in my own ingenuity and in the devices of human origin. I affirm faith in you, your purpose, and your power.
- Once I met a young brother—young, that is to say, in years, but who had learned a good deal of the Lord. God had brought him through much tribulation to gain that knowledge of himself. As I was talking with him, I said, “Brother, what has the Lord really been teaching you these days?” He replied, “Only one thing: that I can do nothing apart from Him.” “Do you really mean,” I asked, “that you can do nothing?” “Well, no,” he said. “Of course, I can do many things! In fact, that has been just my trouble. Oh, you know, I have always been so confident in myself. I know I am well able to do lots of things.” So I asked, “What then do you mean when you say you can do nothing apart from Him?” He answered, “The Lord has shown me that I can do anything, but that He has said, ‘Apart from me ye can do nothing.’ So it comes to this, that everything I have done and can still do apart from Him is nothing!”
Nee, Watchman. The Normal Christian Life (p. 115). CLC Publications. Kindle Edition.