God Versus Idols: And the Winner Is…

Do you ever find yourself reading the Old Testament and thinking, “How could the people of God see Him perform miracle after miracle for them and then still turn to worship false gods (i.e. idols)? What is the deal?” I know I have had those thoughts before. Behind the question, however, lurks a misunderstanding about our own hearts.

This morning I was reading in Jeremiah 10:6-16 about the difference between the one true God and the idols that men (not women…ha,ha) make and worship. The false gods described in this passage are ones that are made by the hands of humans and called “worthless wooden idols.” I don’t have any little objects like this sitting around my house that I fall down to and worship as God. I doubt you do either. But, if I’m honest, I know there are many other things that I shape into idols in my heart and worship other than the one True God. A few things come to mind that I find myself putting in the place of God: time to myself, getting my way, my husband and child, money, the approval of others, even doing ministry, and many more.

How senseless and ignorant I am, though, to think that these “idols” will bring me the satisfaction, peace, love, and life that only God can provide! I was reminded of this truth this morning as I made a list from Jeremiah 10:6-16 of the qualities of God versus the qualities of idols. Here is a brief description (not exhaustive) from this passage of the differences between the two:

Description of God:
– No one like him
– Great
– His name is mighty in power
– King of the nations
– The true God
– The living God
– The eternal King
– The nations cannot endure his wrath
– Made the earth by his power
– Founded the world by his wisdom
– Maker of all things
– LORD Almighty

Description of Idols:
– Worthless
– Give no wisdom
– Made by the hands of men
– Did not make the heavens and the earth
– Will perish from the earth and the heavens
– Bring shame
– Are frauds and have no breath in them
– Objects of mockery
– Will be judged
– Make us senseless and give no knowledge

What a convicting contrast these lists are to me. My heart is just as prone to worship idols as the people of the Old Testament (albeit they just take a little different form.) I should be asking the following questions of myself, instead of the people of God in the OT: “After knowing all the ways of the Lord through his Word and seeing him work in my life (and others’ lives), why would I follow idols? Why would I worship worthless, shameful frauds when there is a true God who is great, all-powerful, and in charge?”

Lord, continually remind us that You are the only One who brings us true and lasting satisfaction and life. Help us to see the idols in our own lives and to repent of those. Incline our hearts to You, so that we won’t turn to senseless and worthless ways.

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