[Jer 10:3-6 HCSB] 3 for the customs of the peoples are worthless. Someone cuts down a tree from the forest; it is worked by the hands of a craftsman with a chisel. 4 He decorates it with silver and gold. It is fastened with hammer and nails, so it won’t totter. 5 Like scarecrows in a cucumber patch, their idols cannot speak. They must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them for they can do no harm — and they cannot do any good. 6 Yahweh, there is no one like You. You are great; Your name is great in power.
We don’t hear alot about idol worship these days. I think it is probably because in North America, the practice of establishing idols is no longer taboo. In our society of free expression just about everything is acceptable; no one really wants to get involved and risk being labeled “judgmental.” So, we watch as people do nutty things, we roll our eyes at them and keep on traveling. Hey, they’re not really hurting anyone anyway, right?
The definition of idolatry, according to Webster, is “the worship of idols or excessive devotion to, or reverence for some person or thing.” An idol is anything that replaces the one, true God. The most prevalent form of idolatry in Bible times was the worship of images that were thought to embody the various pagan deities.
Through the years, I have read several Bible passsages that describe the creation of man-made idols that were used to provide a visual depiction of a imaginary diety. The Golden Calf, Dagon, Baal, etc. were created by man FOR man. They conjoured a concept of the kind of god they could relate to; created in a tangible form as a focal point used during times of worship. In every instance, these gods were proven to be useless! They had no power to help.
Jeremiah paints a vivid picture of the idols being worshipped in his day. He writes, “Like scarecrows in a cucumber patch, their idols cannot speak. They must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them for they can do no harm — and they cannot do any good.”
Can you picture it in your mind? Jeremiah makes it clear, “They cannot do any good!” No matter how beautifully crafted they were, no matter the material with which they were made, no matter how fond they were of them, no matter how proud of their craftsmanship they were, no matter how long they had been in the family–THEY WERE USELESS!
I started by defining an idol as “anything that replaces the one, true God.” There are many things that deserve our love and respect–spouses, children, friends, jobs, etc.–all are worthy of our appreciation. But, none of these–NONE–are meant to replace God in our heart. If we treat them as idols, putting them before God, they will become like scarecrows in a cucumber patch!
Jeremiah closes his comments by writing, “Yahweh, there is no one like You. You are great; Your name is great in power.” That, my friend, is the main point of Jeremiah’s comments. NO THING or NO INDIVIDUAL can replace God. No one is like Him; He is great and His name is great in power!
PRAYER: Father, You alone are the true God. Help me to keep You at the center of my life. Let nothing stand between me and You. Nothing… No one! Only You can are deserving of the honor to sit on the throne of my heart. You… Yahweh… there is no one like You!