Jeremiah 5.7-14 – The worship of idols
Posted: 17 January 2012 in Jeremiah

How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses. They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbour’s wife. Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? Go ye up upon her walls, and destroy; but make not a full end: take away her battlements; for they are not the LORD’s. For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against me, saith the LORD. They have belied the LORD, and said, It is not he; neither shall evil come upon us; neither shall we see sword nor famine: And the prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them: thus shall it be done unto them. Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.

The Bible is given for our learning, and contains endless warnings about the consequences of idolatry. In fact, I think I have made more posts about those passages than anything else. But such is our endemic sinfulness that now, as back then, we ignore those warnings, and carry on with our various forms of idolatry. The warnings cannot be dismissed, as is sometimes done with other parts of the Bible, as being “just the Old Testament” – accompanied by the unspoken notion that God changed his ways in New Testament times, and is now much more loving (i.e. indulgent of sin). That, of course, is nonsense, and anybody who does not offer God the exclusive worship which is his due, and put their faith in Christ, will stand condemned. Which makes it all the more urgent that we avoid the idols that are so pervasive in this present day. Easily said.

The idol which is almost universally worshipped in the West is (needless to say) material prosperity, and doubtless Asia will soon be joining the West in that. To which the new atheists add a deified science as their next most favourite idol. That second idol adds pride to avarice as one of our most besetting sins. Like the ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judah, we too will probably fail to fully repent, until our civilisation is brought to collapse, or to the brink of collapse.

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