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Yet, people were "unable from the good things that are seen to know him who exists, nor did they recognize the craftsman while paying heed to his works" (15:1). It is, perhaps, understandable that they go astray while searching for God and thereby come to have confidence in what they see, for they are beautiful (15:6-7). Nevertheless, they are without excuse, "for if they had the power to know so much that they could investigate the world, how did they fail to find sooner the Lord of all these things?" (13:10).

As idols themselves are enemies, so also those who make them are enemies. The potter who works with clay takes life itself for an idle game, a festival held for profit, and rationalizes his activity with the saying, "one must get money however one can, even by base means" (15:12). This enmity of idol making extends even to the "evil intent of human art" and the "fruitless toil of painters" which would mislead people (15:4).109

It may be that worship of idols originally emerged out of grief over a beloved child who died or out of the custom of erecting a king's image in a remote province (14:12-20) rather than from aesthetic considerations. But, whatever its origins, it delivered men to bondage (14:21). From then

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Those who love God, of course, are not deceived.

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