Not Like These is He

“The Lord has both planned and done
    what he spoke concerning the inhabitants of Babylon…
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;
    at the time of their punishment they shall perish.
Not like these is he who is the portion of Jacob,
    for he is the one who formed all things,
and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance;
    the Lord of hosts is his name.” Jeremiah 51:12b,15-19

Man made in God’s image is incapable of fully grasping His transcendence, and the objects and endeavors we collect and manipulate on this earth do not help. In limited knowledge, we craft gods of image, performance, and pretend security, and are deluded into spiritual ecstasy by success, applause, and ease. Idols only belittle the Spirit and confuse the highness of God in our minds, rendering worthless any self-directed worship we attempt to practice.

And along comes a storm. Winds of God that whip and bite at self-protection, tumults of waters that wash away delusion and upend the structures we have erected. O, God’s ways are so much higher than ours! Not like these transient things of earth is the omnipotent God of heaven! He plans and does exactly what He says. He performs everything with perfection of purpose, while we still whittle away at our idols! He established the world and forms all things in wisdom while we, without knowledge, make images false and shameful. Our worthless idols have no match in the Portion of Jacob. (Isaiah 55:8)

Would we bow before the Lord of Hosts? Would we bring every trophy and lay it down before the cross of Christ? Would we thank Him for exposing stupidity and our valuing of worthless things, and ask that He reform in us hearts that throb for what is true, noble, good, and lasting? (Matthew 6:33; Philippians 4:8; Colossians 3:1-2)

“When I survey the wondrous cross
on which the Prince of glory died,
my richest gain I count but loss,
and pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
save in the death of Christ, my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them through his blood.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were a present far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all.” ~Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

Amen. Create in me a clean heart, O incomparable God, and renew a right spirit in me that worships You alone, above and before all things. (Psalm 51:10)

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