Jeremiah 10 has the prophet delivering some sober news from God. He is not pleased and wants it clear that “the customs of the peoples are vanity”. They think they are really doing something special with their idolatry, but Jeremiah mocks them with it. Idols can do nothing. “Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk”. We have the choice to make between a living God who is Master and Maker of the Universe, and idols that we elevate to take His rightful place. The people of Judah made the wrong choice. What about you? Is God on the throne for you, or have you replace Him with an idol or two?
When it comes to comparing God with an idol, there really is nothing to compare. “There is none like you, O Lord; you are great, and your name is great in might….the Lord is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King”. Idols are the work of man’s hands. God is glorious and magnificent. He created the earth by His power. He spoke the world into existence. He is in control of all things past, present and future. God is God. No idol will ever be able to come close to His majesty. He alone is worthy of our praise. He alone is God.
“It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens”. How can be possibly fall into the trap of idolatry? Man wants to be in control. We want to think we can make something of value. So we try and craft things that we believe have power. Money can become an idol if we aren’t careful. Sports can become an idol. Our businesses can become idols. Even our church can become an idol. Anything we allow to push God aside from His rightful place is an idol. We have to be sure we keep Him on the throne and worship Him alone.
So how does this happen. Well Jeremiah calls it like he sees it. “Every man is stupid and without knowledge”. We’re not nearly as bright as we want to think we are. Man falls because we listen to ourselves, not God’s truth. We don’t have a clue how to run the world around us. We think we do, but we see things only from our limited perspective. God alone can see the whole picture. Idolatry is not ok with God. He makes that clear. “I am slinging out the inhabitants of the land at this time, and I will bring distress on them, that they may feel it”. If we choose to put self or idols above God, we’ll pay for it. There is a judgment coming that will be fast and hard and far. We need to examine our hearts and make sure God is God in our life!