“A tree from the forest is cut down
and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman.
They decorate it with silver and gold;
they fasten it with hammer and nails
so that it cannot move.
Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field,
and they cannot speak;
they have to be carried,
for they cannot walk.
Do not be afraid of them,
for they cannot do evil,
neither is it in them to do good.
“There is none like you, O Lord;
you are great, and your name is great in might.
Who would not fear you, O King of the nations?
For this is your due;
for among all the wise ones of the nations
and in all their kingdoms
there is none like you.
They are both stupid and foolish;
the instruction of idols is but wood!
Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish,
and gold from Uphaz.
They are the work of the craftsman and of the hands of the goldsmith;
their clothing is violet and purple;
they are all the work of skilled men.
But the Lord is the true God;
he is the living God and the everlasting King.
At his wrath the earth quakes,
and the nations cannot endure his indignation.
“Thus shall you say to them: ‘The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens.’
“It is he who made the earth by his power,
who established the world by his wisdom,
and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.
When he utters his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens,
and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightning for the rain,
and he brings forth the wind from his storehouses.
Every man is stupid and without knowledge;
every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols,
for his images are false,
and there is no breath in them.
They are worthless, a work of delusion...
Not like these is he who is the portion of Jacob,
for he is the one who formed all things..;
the Lord of hosts is his name.” Jeremiah 10:3-16
Inanimate wood, and the Maker of the forest. Decorations of metal, and the One who lines the earth with precious treasure. Mute and foolish, and the life-breathing, all-wise King. Jeremiah cannot help but contrast the gods of men with his God of all. Every effort of man has its source in what God provides. The Lord is the Author of life who redeems us from empty living. (Genesis 1:3,26-27; Job 28:1-6; John 14:6; Acts 3:15)
Who would choose a scarecrow over a Sovereign? We do so every day when we collect gods of worldly approval, accolades, and possessions, and by valuing what decays, rusts, or gets moth-eaten, over treasures in heaven. We espouse and trust ideologies and political platforms over God’s word that lasts forever. We idolize family members and people who will fail us over the One who loves without end and will never forsake us. (Psalm 103:11; Matthew 6:19-21; 10:35-36; 24:35; Mark 13:12; Hebrews 13:5)
My Ruler and Portion, captivate me with Your supremacy above every earthly idol, that I worship You alone. Yours, O Lord of hosts, is the greatness and dominion, the glory and majesty forever. (1 Chronicles 29:11-13)