August 10 (Daily reading: Jeremiah 10-13) If we are to fulfill God’s purpose of being His spokespersons in this world, we must be clear that He alone is God! God had challenged His people through Jeremiah: “But where are your gods which you made for yourself? Let them arise, if they can save you in the time of your trouble” (2:28). In chapter 10, God presents a satire on idolatry. “It is wood cut from the forest, the work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool. They decorate it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers so that it will not totter.” He compared these handmade idols to scarecrows in the field: “They cannot speak; they must be carried, because they cannot walk! Do not fear them, for they can do no harm, nor can they do any good … They are worthless, a work of mockery; in the time of their punishment they will perish” (vv. 3-5, 15).
Jeremiah contrasts these idols to the true God: “There is none like You, O LORD; You are great, and great is Your name in might…there is none like You … But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King” (vv. 6, 10). Chapter 11 continues the theme. The people had “gone after other gods to serve them.” The day would come when they would cry out to their false gods, but “they surely will not save them in the time of their disaster” (v. 12).
We may agree that it is ridiculous to worship idols made of wood and decorated with gold and silver. But even with our best intentions, there are idols that creep in, such as pride and self-sufficiency. We must not be like Judah, “who refuse to listen to My words, who walk in the stubbornness of their hearts” (13:10).
– Al Gary