- Jer. 10:1-12:17
For today’s devotional I will focus on three examples of GOD’s wisdom and greatness which are contained in this reading. These chapters contain a wealth of information and insight into GOD and His character. It is nearly impossible to capture all of the lessons we could learn within one short devotional, so we’ll focus on just three.
1. GOD is Completely Different than Idols
We already know this to be true, but here is what GOD says about it in today’s text. First, regarding the idols:
1 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.”
(Jer. 10:1-5 NIV)
Duh! Yet this truth escapes people—nearly everyone in these days trusted in these man-made objects. Stupid. (This is yet another example of how what’s popular is probably not right.) Now, consider what Jeremiah says about GOD in contrast to these statements about idols:
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.
(Jer. 10:6-16 NIV)
2. What GOD Said Would Happen Has Happened
When GOD offered the children of Israel His covenant, He told them the conditions and all that would happen if they failed to obey Him and keep the covenant. In these chapters, He reminds the people through Jeremiah that what He said would take place has occurred, and the culmination would be exile in a foreign land.
6 The LORD said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: ‘Listen to the terms of this covenant and follow them. 7 From the time I brought your ancestors up from Egypt until today, I warned them again and again, saying, “Obey me.” 8 But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubbornness of their evil hearts. So I brought on them all the curses of the covenant I had commanded them to follow but that they did not keep.’”…Both Israel and Judah have broken the covenant I made with their ancestors. 11 Therefore this is what the LORD says: ‘I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them. 12 The towns of Judah and the people of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to whom they burn incense, but they will not help them at all when disaster strikes. 13 You, Judah, have as many gods as you have towns; and the altars you have set up to burn incense to that shameful god Baal are as many as the streets of Jerusalem.’
(Jer. 11:6-13 NIV)
3. GOD Prevented a Plot to Kill Jeremiah
When GOD called Jeremiah to be a prophet, He promised to protect Jeremiah against the evil people who would refuse his message from GOD. The people of Jeremiah’s hometown planned to kill him, but GOD—because He is all-knowing and loves those who are His—revealed this plan to Jeremiah. Jeremiah hadn’t suspected what was being planned, so GOD clearly saved his life.
18 Because the LORD revealed their plot to me, I knew it, for at that time he showed me what they were doing. 19 I had been like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter; I did not realize that they had plotted against me, saying, “Let us destroy the tree and its fruit; let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more.” 20 But you, LORD Almighty, who judge righteously and test the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance on them, for to you I have committed my cause.
21 Therefore this is what the LORD says about the people of Anathoth who are threatening to kill you, saying, “Do not prophesy in the name of the LORD or you will die by our hands”— 22 therefore this is what the LORD Almighty says: “I will punish them. Their young men will die by the sword, their sons and daughters by famine. 23 Not even a remnant will be left to them, because I will bring disaster on the people of Anathoth in the year of their punishment.”
(Jer. 11:18-23 NIV)
Let these three examples remind us of the character of the GOD we serve. Never, ever, for any reason, trade this One True God for anything else. Anything else you serve or worship is an idol and worthless.