“Scarecrows In Cucumbers” ( Jeremiah 10: 5, NEB ) by Carley Evans


Images carved from timber by craftsmen and adorned with silver and gold for the purpose of worship “can do no harm and they have no power to do good.” (Jeremiah 10: 5) Do not be awed by them or “by signs in the heavens.” (Jeremiah 10:2) These idols can not speak and can not walk. Others must speak on their behalf, and carry them from place to place. “The figures [a man] casts are a sham, there is no breath in them. They are worth nothing, mere mockeries, which perish when their day of reckoning comes.” (Jeremiah 10:14,15) “They can no more speak than a scarecrow in a plot of cucumbers.” (Jeremiah 10:5) People who worship these images carved by men “are fools and blockheads one and all, learning their nonsense from a log of wood!” (Jeremiah 10:8)

“But the Lord is God in truth, a living god, an eternal king.” (Jeremiah 10:10) “He is the maker of all.” “The Lord of Hosts is His Name.” (Jeremiah 10:16)

“Hark, a rumour comes flying, then a mounting uproar in the land of the north, an army to make Judah’s cities desolate, a haunt of wolves. I know, O Lord, that man’s ways are not of his own choosing; nor is it for a man to determine his course in life. Correct us, O Lord, but with justice, not in anger, lest Thou bring us almost to nothing.” (Jeremiah 10:22-25)

“But now this is the Word of the Lord, the Word of your creator, O Jacob, of Him who fashioned you, O Israel: Have no fear; for I paid your ransom; I call you by name and you are My own. When you pass through deep waters, I Am with you, when you pass through rivers, they do not sweep you away; walk through fire and you are not scorched, through flames and they do not burn you. For I Am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your deliverer.” (Isaiah 43:1-3)

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“A Narrow-Minded Man Makes Gods” ( Jeremiah 17: 20, NEB ) by Carley Evans


When I was 22, an acquaintance told me she’d taken the best of Buddhism, the best of Hinduism, the best of Christianity, the best of humanism and rolled these “bests” into one god. Her god was a mighty conglomeration. She spoke delicately about – but with no particular love for – this god. She’d even designed a symbol for her god, one she wore on a chain around her neck. She never recognized she was worshiping her own creation.God, through His prophet Jeremiah, asks, “Can a man make gods for himself? They would be no gods. Therefore I Am teaching them, once for all I will teach them My power and My might, and they shall learn that My Name is the Lord.” (Jeremiah 17:20-21)

Through Isaiah, God declares:

“If a man makes a god or casts an image, his labour is wasted. Why! its votaries show their folly; the craftsman too are but men. Let them all gather and confront Me, all will be afraid and look the fools they are.” (Isaiah 44:10-11)

From a cedar or an oak tree planted in his yard, a man cuts wood for his fire while simultaneously carving a god to worship beside that same fire. He says, “Good! I can feel the heat, I am growing warm.” (Isaiah 44:16) And to the same piece of tree, he says: “Save me, for thou are my god.” (Isaiah 44:17)

God says, “Such people neither know nor understand, their eyes made too blind, their minds too narrow to discern. Such a man will not use his reason, he has neither the wit nor the sense” to recognize that he has created his own god from “a log of wood.” (Isaiah 44:18-20)

My acquaintance was a smart person; unfortunately she was also narrow-minded.

“Picking Up Snakes” ( Jeremiah 10: 2, NEB ) by Carley Evans


“Do not be awed by signs in the heavens; it is the nations who go in awe of these. For the carved images of the nations are a sham, they are nothing but timber cut from the forest, worked with his chisel by a craftsman; he adorns it with silver and gold, fastening them on with hammer and nails so that they do not fall apart. They can no more speak than a scarecrow in a plot of cucumbers; they must be carried, for they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them: they can do no harm, and they have no power to do good.” (Jeremiah 10:2-5)

 

People are always looking up, searching the skies for some sign. People are always wanting some spectacular event to validate their faith in whatever they have chosen to believe. People want to see healings; they want to see miracles; they want to get knocked down by preachers claiming to have some special degree of the Holy Spirit’s powers. People want to pick up snakes and not be poisoned by their bites.

 

I, for one, don’t worship “a scarecrow in a plot of cucumbers” or a carved piece of “timber cut from the forest.” I am not “awed by signs in the heavens” or by “silver and gold.” I don’t follow any object that “must be carried, for [it] cannot walk.” And I am not afraid of that which “can do no harm.” And I do not stand amazed at that which “[has] no power to do good.”

 

The Lord our God is One. “Where can one be found like thee, O Lord? Great Thou art and great is the might of Thy Name. Who shall not fear Thee, King of the nations? for fear is Thy fitting tribute. Where among the wisest of the nations and all their royalty can one be found like Thee? They are fools and blockheads one and all, learning their nonsense from a log of wood.” (Jeremiah 10:6-8)

 

“But the Lord is God in truth.” (Jeremiah 10:10)

“Without Excuse” (Romans 1: 20, HCSB) by Carley Evans


Paul writes, “People are without excuse.”

We are without excuse because God’s existence and “His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made.”

We know God exists, yet we choose not to “glorify Him as God or show gratitude.” (Romans 1: 21) Instead, we create our own gods — worshiping self, money, power, even “images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles.” (Romans 1: 23)

“All who make idols are nothing, and what they treasure does not profit. Their witnesses do not see or know anything, so they will be put to shame. Who makes a god or casts a metal image for no profit? Look, all its worshipers will be put to shame.” (Isaiah 44: 9 – 11)

God says, “I Am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make success and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.” (Isaiah 45: 6 – 7)

“I sweep away your transgressions like a cloud, and your sins like a mist. Return to Me, for I redeem you. Rejoice, heavens, for the Lord acts; shout, depths of the earth. Break out into singing, mountains, forest, and every tree in it. For the Lord redeems.” (Isaiah 44: 22 – 23)

“Therefore, any one of you who judges is without excuse. For when you judge another, you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the same things.” (Romans 2: 1)

We are without excuse, for God reveals Himself in His creation. Worship not the creation, but its Creator.

“Idols Do Not Profit” (Psalm 97: 10, ESV) by Carley Evans


The Lord commands us — those who love Him — to hate evil. The evil we are called to hate by the psalmist is idolatry, the worship of any thing other than God.

“All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols.” (Psalm 97: 7)

“All those who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing?” (Isaiah 44: 9 – 10) The ironsmith and the carpenter make “figures of men, with the beauty of a man” from iron or wood. The wood “becomes fuel for a man. He takes part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also he makes a god and worships it; he makes an idol and falls down before it.” (Isaiah 44: 13, 15)

Idolatry is the ultimate wickedness and folly — worshiping something made by man himself.

God “preserves the life of His saints” whereas an idol created by man has no power to preserve, has no power to heal, has no power to love, has no power to save.

The psalmist proclaims, “Fire goes before [God] and burns up His adversaries all around.” (Psalm 97: 3)