Wednesday, May 16, 2012


“You live in a world of deception.” (Jeremiah 9:6)

            The days of Jeremiah were low times for Judah.  Pervasive idolatry and gross immorality rampaged through society.  The Lord said of them, “They proceed from one evil to another, and they do not take Me into account.” (Jeremiah 9:3)  One of these evils was that they had become experts at lying.  The practice of deception was as common as desert sand. Their world was characterized by deception.  While deceiving one another continually unraveled their social and spiritual fabric, the greatest deception of all in their repertoire was their self-deception.  They believed their own lies.
            A world that practices a lifestyle built on a foundation of humanism and self-centeredness, so that its values are the fruit of humanism, is a world of deception and especially of self-deception.  God gets sent to a corner as irrelevant in such an environment.  For these folks, the only thing that matters is having fun and enjoying life.  Work is important when it takes place, but otherwise work is simply a means to the fun life.
            In their self deception, these folks miss the meaning of life altogether.  They are deceiving themselves into believing they are living a great life, while in reality they are squandering their opportunity to experience truth and real life, one that comes when we acknowledge, recognize, and embrace the sovereignty of God.
            The superficiality of self-deception will cost them everything.  And that is sad.
            It’s not as though there are no options, however.  The good news is that anyone who has followed a lifestyle of deception or self-deception can turn around and join those who walk the path of peace, significance, and truth.  Jesus provided us with this option through His death on the cross and through His resurrection from the dead.  Going this direction takes only a decision.

Lord, Please help anyone who has not yet made that decision to decide today that he or she will follow You in faith.  Amen.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Idiocy of Idolatry

“The idols of the nations are of silver and gold, made by human hands.  They have mouths but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see. They have ears but cannot hear; indeed, there is no breath in their mouths.  Those who make them are just like them, as are all who trust in them.” (Psalm 135:15-18)

            What a great description of idols and of the idiocy of idolatry!  And how prophetic.  The psalmist obviously witnessed the resurgence of idolatry in his day, and, by the time of Jeremiah the prophet, the last prophet of the Lord before His destruction judgment on Judah and Jerusalem, idolatry was full blown.  Idols were even placed in the Temple.  Listen to Jeremiah: “Hear this you foolish and senseless people.  They have eyes, but they don’t see.  They have ears, but they don’t hear.” (Jeremiah 5:21)  Jeremiah was NOT, however, talking about the idols.  Instead, he was talking about the people!  They had, in fact, become like what they had worshiped.  They had eyes but couldn’t see and ears but couldn’t hear.
            Fast-forward past the exile, the return, and the intertestamental period and see Jesus in the synagogue of Capernaum.  Standing before Him was a man with a paralyzed hand.  In Jesus’ eyes, this was a need.  In the eyes of the Pharisees and other religious rulers, it was a test.  Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath.  Need met.  Test failed, in the eyes of the Pharisees, so they committed to destroy Jesus.  How interesting that the Pharisees and others like them had eyes but could not see, and ears but could not hear.
            Idolatry is not just the worship of metal or wood images.  It is the worship of anything that is lifeless, anything other than God.  And the worship of anything or anyone other than God is sheer futility and foolishness.  We become like what we worship.

Lord, We worship You, and we trust You to shape us according to Your will.  Amen.