My mental state, level of worry, and confidence falls too often on the circumstances of my life going my way. When we put hope and confidence in the world and its treasures, we stop relying on God as much. God is the only one who can provide for all our needs…
2 This is what the Lord says:
“Do not learn the ways of the nations
or be terrified by signs in the heavens,
though the nations are terrified by them.
3 For the practices of the peoples are worthless;
they cut a tree out of the forest,
and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.
4 They adorn it with silver and gold;
they fasten it with hammer and nails
so it will not totter.
5 Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field,
their idols cannot speak;
they must be carried
because they cannot walk.
Do not fear them;
they can do no harm
nor can they do any good.”
6 No one is like you, Lord;
you are great,
and your name is mighty in power.
7 Who should not fear you,
King of the nations?
This is your due.
Among all the wise leaders of the nations
and in all their kingdoms,
there is no one like you.
10 But the Lord is the true God;
he is the living God, the eternal King.
When he is angry, the earth trembles;
the nations cannot endure his wrath.
11 “Tell them this: ‘These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.’”
12 But God made the earth by his power;
he founded the world by his wisdom
and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
13 When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar;
he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.
He sends lightning with the rain
and brings out the wind from his storehouses.
Jeremiah 10:2-7, 10-13
In Jeremiah 10, God lays out the contrast between himself and the idols created by human hands. We often get caught up in the worship of created things. We might think we don’t: we have a false confidence because we go to church, read our Bibles, and pray to God. Underlying our Christian practices, though, must be a faith that puts our trust, joy, comfort, security, today, tomorrow, reputation, stability, success, and development in God.
I was with a group of teammates from work this week, and we were sharing what gives us comfort in life. The first thing I thought of was the great news this week that my son-in-law received his work permit in the mail from the government. He was in Canada on a student visa, and now is applying for permanent residency as the husband of our daughter. My comfort this week comes, in part, from the arrival of his status to work, earn, and support his family. Any father would want that for their kids, and I feel much better now that the paperwork has arrived.
And then it hit me hard. Time after time, God is showing me that my mental state, my level of worry, and my confidence that everything will be okay falls too often on the circumstances of my life going my way. That’s an idol. That tendency of mine keeps me from putting my entire hope and trust in God.
My reliance on human process, government favour, or lucky bounces is a scarecrow in a cucumber field. Yes, we should be diligent to apply for the paperwork, apply for the jobs, do our homework, and try our best. God expects our best. The hand of God, however, is active to give and take away based on his will and good pleasure.
When we put hope and confidence in the world and its treasures, we stop relying on God as much.
God saw the neighbours of his people falling into this trap, and he warned them through Jeremiah. There is no one else like God – No one else is mighty in power to provide for all our needs. The gods who did not make the heavens and earth will perish from the earth. The earthly things in which we trust and hope will perish. And then what? Then who will give us comfort and security and hope?
Only God, who made the earth and stretched out the heavens. Trust in God today and tomorrow. Do not wait and do not waste your reliance on false gods and false hopes.