12th & 13th November
“They cut down a tree, and a craftsman carves an idol. They decorate it with gold and silver and then fasten it securely with hammer and nails so it won’t fall over. Their gods are like scarecrows in a cucumber field! They cannot speak, and they need to be carried because they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of such gods, for they can neither harm you nor do you any good.”
As Jeremiah continues his relentless criticism of false gods, we begin see an almost tongue in cheek approach in his words; it’s almost as if he is making fun of the false gods. Yet what Jeremiah is really doing, is making a case to the Israelites, imploring them to see the foolishness of worshipping gods that are made by human hands. They can do nothing, as Jeremiah says, ‘they can neither harm you nor do you any good’.
When we read this passage, we too are almost encouraged, to take a fine sieve and filter through any ‘worthless idols’ in our lives, any thing that is taking the place of God, and filter it out, getting rid of it and leaving no trace of them. We are almost forced into analysing our lives by Jeremiah’s words because he makes such a clear and heart piercing conclusion about the foolishness and stupidity of putting anything else in front of the ONE TRUE GOD. In verse 11, Jeremiah comes to the crescendo of his argument, and it will be here where we leave this weekend’s devotion. As you read his words, think about what kind of a God you serve, and of how powerful and awesome He is.
“Your so-called gods, who did not make the heavens and earth, will vanish from the earth and from under the heavens. But God made the earth by His power, and He preserves it by His wisdom. With His own understanding He stretched out the heavens. When He speaks in the thunder, the heavens roar with rain. He causes the clouds to rise over the earth. He sends the lightning with the rain and releases the wind from His storehouse. . . But the God of Israel is no idol! He is the Creator of everything that exists… The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is His name!”1