Sunday, December 20, 2015

This week's lesson (December 19-25): lessons from Jeremiah

"Do not trust in deceptive words and say, 'This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD!' If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your forefathers for ever and ever. But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless." -- Jeremiah 7:4-8, NIV
There's nothing nicer than an idol.

Idol's give you clout with the god, after all; they give you influence with the divine.
  • Yes, post an idol in the corner of your house, and you know that god will be there for you.
  • Put some nice clothes on the idol, give it a parade -- maybe even take it out to dinner . . . treat it nice, in other words, and the god will be nice to you.
  • And if that god isn't nice to you -- if it's been slacking-off on the blessings you have a right to expect . . . then you can "lean on" that god by threatening to throw it's idol in the trash.
Best of all, idols don't require you to worship a false god -- no, you can commit idolatry with the true God of Israel!
  • Worried that He might not fight on your side? Carry His ark into battle -- that way, He doesn't have a choice! (cf. I Samuel 4-6).
  • Fearful that someone might attack your city? Point out that God would never allow His Temple to be captured -- much less destroyed (cf. Jeremiah 7).
  • And even today, you are guaranteed success if you just pray the right prayers, think the right thoughts, and belong to God's one true church.
What else can God do, after all?
He's the One who gave you the things, after all -- the ark, the Temple, even prayers and churches.
And if He didn't want you to use them as idols . . . 
Then why did He give them to you?

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