Jer 9:13-16 The Lord says: Because they have forsaken my law that I set before them and have not obeyed my voice or walked in accord with it, but have stubbornly followed their hearts and have gone after the Baal, as their fathers taught them… I will scatter them among the nations… and I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them
Jer 9:23-24 Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich boast in his riches, but, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.
Jer 10:5-6 Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried for they cannot walk, 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.
Jer 10:23-24 I know O Lord that the way of man IS NOT in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. Correct me, O Lord, but in justice; not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing.
2 Cor 6:16-17 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore go out from their midst and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you.
I am amazed at how often the subject of idolatry comes up in my Bible reading. It reminded of what Biblical counselor and author David Powlison said, “Idolatry is by far the most frequently discussed problem in the Scriptures. The relevance of massive chunks of Scripture hangs on our understanding of idolatry.” Paul says in 2 Cor 6:16 what agreement is there between the temple of God and Idols. And by the way, you are the temple of God. You are God’s living, breathing, temple. (1 Cor 6:19) And yet, we are so often like the people of Israel. Jer 9:13 We have forsaken God’s law we don’t obey His voice, instead we follow our own hearts and go after the treasure of our heart.
Paul David Tripp said, “we are always in active pursuit of the the things that rule our hearts!” It’s interesting that Jer 9:23-24 comes in the context of idolatry. What are the things we actively pursue? The wise man pursues his wisdom, the mighty man pursues his might, the rich man pursues his riches. Jeremiah is saying, “Don’t let those things become the treasure of your heart!” Instead, “let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me.” Knowing and understanding God should be the pursuit of our hearts. That should be the treasure that we actively pursue!
I love the word picture Jeremiah gives us in Jer 10:5. Anything that we pursue aside from God is nothing more than a scarecrow in a cucumber field. It can’t talk, it can’t walk, it can’t do anything to help us. If we can only recognize the futility of pursuing those things, and instead pursue becoming a greater display of God’s dwelling place, a living walking, breathing, temple of God (2 Cor 6:16).
Jer 10:23 “I know O Lord that the way of man IS NOT in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.”
This verse really challenges me. Our heavenly Father knows that my natural bent is to pursue my own treasures, to pursue my wisdom, my might, my riches. It IS NOT in myself to pursue knowing Him and understanding Him. I need the Holy Spirit within me to help me do that. I echo Jeremiah’s request, “Correct me, O Lord, but in justice; not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing.” O that I would grow into living like Paul did.
Acts 20:23 But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself
Phil 1:21 For to me to live is Christ!
Phil 3:7-8 whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ…
- May God lead us to recognize and identify the things that we treasure apart from Him.
- Help us, by your Holy Spirit, to choose to pursue knowing and understanding God above all else.
- That our lives would look more like a living, walking temple of God, and not a scarecrow in a cucumber field.
- As we pursue Him, rather than our idols, may God become our cherished treasure