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Behold, Believe, Become

There’s an interesting statement made by the psalmist in Psalm 135:

15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
the work of human hands.
16 They have mouths, but do not speak;
they have eyes, but do not see;
17 they have ears, but do not hear,
nor is there any breath in their mouths.
18 Those who make them become like them,
so do all who trust in them.

Psalm 135.15-18

We become what we behold and believe.

The idols of the nations couldn’t speak, see or hear. They were the lifeless works of human hands – unable to consider, discern, or deliver. But human beings become what we behold and believe. Describing the man who would pray to the idol of his own making – “Deliver me, for you are my god!” – Isaiah laments:

18 They know not, nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand. 19 No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, “Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. 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 deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”

Isaiah 44.18-20

Eyes that couldn’t see, ears that couldn’t hear, and hearts that didn’t understand. But Isaiah wasn’t talking about the blocks of wood. He was talking about people who slowly became what they beheld and believed.

Isn’t that why the Holy Spirit calls us to “behold” some One and not some thing?

Someone worthy of our belief and becoming?

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3.18

We become what be behold and believe. Which ought to lead us to some humble reflection and self-examination. What or who has our attention? With what are we filling our minds and fueling our hearts? Is it true? Honorable? Just? Is it pure? Commendable? Are they worthy of praise?

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Philippians 4.8

We become what we behold and believe.

The only question is whether we will be led deeper into delusion or further into glory.