At the Altar of False Gods ~ Jeremiah 2:1-3:5

Has a nation ever changed its gods? (Yet they are not gods at all.) But my people have exchanged their Glory for worthless idols. Be appalled at this, O heavens, and shudder with great horror,” declares the LORD. ~ Jeremiah 2:11-12

The imagery God presents in this passage is incredible. God, speaking through Jeremiah, is calling out Israel for being unfaithful to Him. He likens Israel’s unfaithfulness to a prostitute who will sleep with anybody. Israel has rejected God in exchange for foreign gods – many foreign gods. Although the True God led them out of Egypt, Israel only seeks Him when they are in trouble and in need of help: “They say to wood, ‘You are my father,’ and to stone, ‘You gave me birth.’ They have turned their backs to me and not their faces; yet when they are in trouble, they say ‘Come and save us!’ (2:27)

In 2:13 God identifies two sins committed by His people: (1) “They have forsaken me, the spring of living water” and (2) “they have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” Even after all of the good God has done for Israel, they still think there is something better – they forsake God by worshipping foreign gods. In forsaking God, they have rejected the Living Water in exchange for meaningless folly that is ultimately dry; it cannot hold water.

While God’s Words spoken through Jeremiah address Israel’s unfaithfulness directly, they apply to us today as well. Our gods of wood and stone come in many forms including wealth, possessions, power, position, celebrity, and many others. We reject God’s sovereignty in exchange for the false god of human wisdom or we embrace the false understandings of God that are so prevalent in our world today. When we come to realize that none of these offer any true eternal benefit, we finally turn to the true God, pleading, “Come and save us!” But take heart: Even in the heat of our infidelity, God loves us so much that He provided the ultimate redemptive solution through His Son, Jesus Christ. Through faith in Him and Him alone, we are reconnected with the God we have rejected and we become heirs to the promise of eternal life that only Jesus can deliver.

Ponder this: What are my idols, my false gods?

My prayer for today: Dear Heavenly Father, I sometimes catch myself relying on things of the world rather than upon You. Forgive me, Lord. Help me to stand firmly on Your Word and to trust completely in You, and You alone. Through Your Son, Jesus Christ, I pray, AMEN.

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