The Fallacy of Worshiping Idols

Quotes: Trusting people, possessions or positions to do for me what only God can do. Jer. 17:5 - B. Gothard. That for which I would give anything and accept nothing in exchange is the most important thing in my life. Whatever that is is my god. cf. Isa. 44:6-20. - J. McMath … More

Idolatry

The prophet concludes his temple message by painting a picture of the broad scope of God’s relationship to the nations (vv. 1-11), to nature (vv. 12-13), and to mankind (vv. 14-25). He brings a charge on the fallacy of worshiping idols. God addressed the house of Israel with a solemn warning. Israel was not to learn the ways of idolatry which was practiced by the nations around her, nor be terrified by signs in the sky (vv. 1-2). Idolatrous practices were worthless because they had no life, therefore, no power to do any good for those who followed them.

The futility of worshiping idols is shown in graphic detail (vv. 3-5). While decorated with silver and gold (v. 4), an idol is still the product of man. It cannot move or speak and can do neither good nor evil. The idol worshiped was a tree cut out of the forest. It was fitted by the workman’s hands and worked into shape. To hide the wood, they covered it with silver and gold, lacquered it and decked it with gold or silver lace or cloth tissue. The idol stands up straight as if it were going to speak, but it is a poor dumb creature that cannot take one step toward your relief. Very fitting is the admonition to, “Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good (v. 5)."

Jeremiah praises the Lord (vv. 6-7, 10).Who would not choose to worship the true and living God, rather than lifeless heathen idols that can do nothing? “...there is none like unto thee, O Lord; thou art great and thy name is great in might” (v. 6). Among all the wisest of the nations, there is no one like unto God. He is great (v. 7). Idols are worthless and anyone who worships them is a fool (vv. 8-9). It is interesting to note that verse 11 is the only verse in the book of Jeremiah written in Aramaic instead of Hebrew. Aramaic was the trade language of that day. This verse seems to be directed to the pagan idolaters around Israel in a language they would be sure to understand. The message was that their false gods would ultimately perish.

Application

 

Am I seeking God first in every day? Matthew 6:53 has a promise for me if I do.

Jeremiah 10:1-11 (English Standard Version)

Hear the word that the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel. Thus says the LORD: "Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them, for the customs of the peoples are vanity. A tree from the forest is cut down and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move. Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good." There is none like you, O LORD; you are great, and your name is great in might. Who would not fear you, O King of the nations? For this is your due; for among all the wise ones of the nations and in all their kingdoms there is none like you. They are both stupid and foolish; the instruction of idols is but wood! Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz. They are the work of the craftsman and of the hands of the goldsmith; their clothing is violet and purple; they are all the work of skilled men. But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation. Thus shall you say to them: "The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens."

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