Jeremiah 10:1-11:23, Colossians 3:18-4:18, Psalms 78:56-72, Proverbs 24:28-29
Today is the 8th day of October. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It is…It’s great to be here with you today taking the next step forward on this pathway that we’ve been following since the beginning of the year. And wow, what turns and twists and peaks and valleys and walking along rivers and through forests. We have been all over the place as we’ve journeyed through the Bible this year. And, we still have a ways to go, a lot of really interesting territory as we wind our way to the conclusion. But we’re at October 8th and so we’re a ways from the conclusion. And we’ll pick up where we left off. We’re reading from the New International version this week. Jeremiah, chapters 10 and 11 today.
Okay, let’s talk about its idolatry. Idolatry, that ominous word. We’ve encountered this word countless times as we’ve been moving through the Scriptures this year. We read stories about it. We’ve listened to the mighty condemnations of it, we’ve witnessed the repercussions of it, but now that we’re in the prophetic books there’s no way to escape it, it’s everywhere, which can kind of set us off because idolatry isn’t a part of like our normal conversation. How’s your idolatry doing? How are you doing with your idolatry these days? Right? Like this is not something we talk about. Hey, you still have that goddess Artemis in your closet, right? So, idolatry is essentially the worship of false gods. And those false gods at least in the time of Jeremiah were normally fashioned statues of some sort that they would bow in worship too, even sacrifice too, and bring offerings too. And in Jeremiah today we, you know, we…they’re basically scarecrows. Like, they can’t speak, they can’t walk, like they’ve got to be carried around. There hammered with nails they don’t fall over. Right? So, Jeremiah’s essentially making fun. And it’s easy enough for us to make fun because it’s like who would bow down and worship? Like if you make the statue yourself and then you think you’re gonna bow down and it’s gonna become a deity, like are you…“are you thick?” That’s what…that’s what my aunts and uncles who have all gone on that I grew up with, that’s one of the phrases they would use. “Seriously? Like, are you stupid?” You made this thing. Why would you bow and worship to it? You made it. For those people though, they didn’t think that the statue itself was their god. They thought if they could make an image and they would worship this image then their worship and devotion would awaken their god or open the mouth of their god. But even the idea of, you know, worshiping at the feet of a statue… Like we can look at what…what Jeremiah says about idolatry and about the statues and we can breathe a sigh of relief because we never made an idol like that and we never hid an idol like that and we never worshiped and I like that and we wouldn’t even think about doing something like that. So, we can be like, “cool! Idolatry’s not a part of my life. I don’t know why I need to read these chapters of Jeremiah.” But the thing is, because the description is so…created…something that’s made and then a person would offer themselves in worship at this thing in hopes that it would awaken something in the divine realm and cause this God to look upon them with favor, then just about anything can be an idol. If we are expecting our lives to be improved or sustained in any other way than through our relationship with God, then we’re creating an idol that cannot talk that cannot see that cannot walk and expecting it to bring us life. So, anything can be and idol. Your savings account can be an idol. You just keep building it up, right.? You just keep adding to it. You just keep making something of it and you keep doing that and you keep checking the balance and you keep going there hoping to see what you have accumulated so that later on it will open its mouth and look favorably upon you so that your life can be sustained. You see where we’re going here. Anything can be an idol. I’m not saying a savings accounts a bad thing. It’s just a bad thing when you expect that it’s going to bring you life and that your turning to it instead of God. So, anything can work like this. Relationships can work like this, right? You can fall in love with somebody and you can’t see straight. You can’t see clear at all. Like, they become the object of your worship, right? And, so, you get lost in each other and you move towards marriage and everything only to find out, of my gosh, they can’t deliver life. We can collaborate and be in life together and be life-giving to each other but they cannot sustain…like I cannot go to them and worship and expect that I’ll get a promotion. But here’s the thing, Idolatry isn’t something like…God hates it. He’s clear about that in Scripture but it’s not something that makes him nervous about whether or not He really is the most-high God. Like, no matter what we’ll give our hearts to worship, no matter what any human gives their hearts in worship too, there is only one most-high God. But when we worship what’s false we’re withholding, we’re keeping ourselves from him and we’ll miss out on what He cares most about, a relationship, which will only destroy us in the end. So, this is actually pretty heartbreaking. So, like…so like if your…if your son one day tells you that you’re not there parent anymore and they found a new parent and it’s a stuffed animal that they’re carrying with…they’re carrying around and they only play and they only talk to this stuffed animal because they believe this stuffed animal has become their true parent, right, we would probably be freaking out and seeking help, but that’s essentially what we say to God when we turn toward something false in hopes that it’s going to sustain our lives. But even if…even if our kid did this and all they did was talk to this stuffed animal and call it mommy or daddy and ignored us, we’re still their parent, right? Like nothing can change the fact that we’re their true parent. And, so, even though the child’s given their affection to something else we’re still their parent and we’re very, very troubled by it. This is why God hates idolatry. This is God’s position towards idolatry. And what we see when He approaches the subject of idolatry over and over again, what is He saying? Return. Come home. Return to me. Because the alternative is destruction. So, let's…let’s consider what we are turning to for life, things that we actually are trusting in that have no power to save us and no power to do good or evil and no power to walk or stand. Because when we do give our affection and worship to something else we’re betraying our only true source of life, which is absolutely backwards to how we were created. It’s not who we are and it will not get us anywhere.
Father we invite your Holy Spirit once again to what we read today and what we’re contemplating here in terms of idolatry because it is really easy for us to just zone out like that’s not our issue and we ask your Holy Spirit to show us where it might be an issue. What are we counting on? What are we giving ourselves to thinking it will give us life? Come Holy Spirit we pray. In Jesus’ name we ask. Amen.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.