DO NOT BE LIKE THEM
I am not my own; I was bought with a price. Therefore, help me honor You now, God (1 Cor. 6:19,20).
Read Jeremiah 10:1–25
God and Idols
10 Hear what the Lord says to you, people of Israel. 2 This is what the Lord says:
“Do not learn the ways of the nations
or be terrified by signs in the heavens,
though the nations are terrified by them.
3 For the practices of the peoples are worthless;
they cut a tree out of the forest,
and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.
4 They adorn it with silver and gold;
they fasten it with hammer and nails
so it will not totter.
5 Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field,
their idols cannot speak;
they must be carried
because they cannot walk.
Do not fear them;
they can do no harm
nor can they do any good.”
6 No one is like you, Lord;
you are great,
and your name is mighty in power.
7 Who should not fear you,
King of the nations?
This is your due.
Among all the wise leaders of the nations
and in all their kingdoms,
there is no one like you.
8 They are all senseless and foolish;
they are taught by worthless wooden idols.
9 Hammered silver is brought from Tarshish
and gold from Uphaz.
What the craftsman and goldsmith have made
is then dressed in blue and purple—
all made by skilled workers.
10 But the Lord is the true God;
he is the living God, the eternal King.
When he is angry, the earth trembles;
the nations cannot endure his wrath.
11 “Tell them this: ‘These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.’”
12 But God made the earth by his power;
he founded the world by his wisdom
and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
13 When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar;
he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.
He sends lightning with the rain
and brings out the wind from his storehouses.
14 Everyone is senseless and without knowledge;
every goldsmith is shamed by his idols.
The images he makes are a fraud;
they have no breath in them.
15 They are worthless, the objects of mockery;
when their judgment comes, they will perish.
16 He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these,
for he is the Maker of all things,
including Israel, the people of his inheritance—
the Lord Almighty is his name.
17 Gather up your belongings to leave the land,
you who live under siege.
18 For this is what the Lord says:
“At this time I will hurl out
those who live in this land;
I will bring distress on them
so that they may be captured.”
19 Woe to me because of my injury!
My wound is incurable!
Yet I said to myself,
“This is my sickness, and I must endure it.”
20 My tent is destroyed;
all its ropes are snapped.
My children are gone from me and are no more;
no one is left now to pitch my tent
or to set up my shelter.
21 The shepherds are senseless
and do not inquire of the Lord;
so they do not prosper
and all their flock is scattered.
22 Listen! The report is coming—
a great commotion from the land of the north!
It will make the towns of Judah desolate,
a haunt of jackals.
23 Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own;
it is not for them to direct their steps.
24 Discipline me, Lord, but only in due measure—
not in your anger,
or you will reduce me to nothing.
25 Pour out your wrath on the nations
that do not acknowledge you,
on the peoples who do not call on your name.
For they have devoured Jacob;
they have devoured him completely
and destroyed his homeland.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectBecause Jesus has borne God’s wrath in our place, it will not come on us; but don’t live like it shouldn’t!
There is great irony in Jeremiah’s prayer (23–25). His call that God would judge the nations that don’t acknowledge him fits best of all with his own people, because they themselves refuse to acknowledge God (9:6) and worship idol after idol (8:19). The irony is greater because verses 1–16 compare the idols of the nations with the true God, who is the eternal King of the nations and the living God (7,10), the Sustainer (12,13) and Maker of all things (16). But because Judah and Israel have turned away from the true God, and not worshipped him as they ought, they are to be expelled from the land (17–22). The apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things [sin] God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient” (Eph. 5:6,7).
Where is the world pulling you into its idolatry? Money? Sex? Power? As Christians, we are not our own (23); we were bought with the most precious life in existence. Let’s throw off the sin that so easily entangles, and walk in the steps marked out for us (23; Heb. 12:1).
Read Romans 6:1–14 and reflect on it in light of today’s passage. Declare over yourself: “I am free from sin.” Walk in that truth today.
Pray verse 24 over any area of your life where you are aware of compromise.