But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities. Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men. But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.
This is the essence of the trap that Israel was falling into. Jeremiah comes with a message exposing the truth of what it was to worship idols and follow the ways of those other nations. What a contrast there is between God and an idol. Because in the end, they were staking everything on a piece of wood or something made of metal they had crafted with their own hands. They were dedicating themselves to an inanimate object. They were giving power and glory to a statue they made themselves and worshiping something so lifeless.
How foolish it was to turn aside from God to an idol. How foolish it was to invest so much into something so empty. How much stock we try to put in the works of our hands, the things we do, the things we think, the way that we choose. But it’s so foolish to keep our focus there, to depend so much on things, to love objects with such strong affection, to be so blinded by that vanity. And all the while, God is right there—a God so amazing, so much beyond what we can imagine, a great God who wants us to know Him and follow Him.
Let’s not build our lives on something so empty and worthless. Let us not subscribe to a doctrine of vanities, but instead seek out our living God and His truth. When it comes to worship, it is not that anything or anyone will suffice. Out of everything that exists, God is the only one worthy of any worship at all. Anything other than that is pointless and, on top of that, displeasing to our jealous God. He is a God to be feared, to be honored, to be glorified, not to be passed over for something else.
Sometimes it’s easy for things of this world to capture our hearts, even if we don’t think of it as worshiping an idol. We may not be fashioning gods out of wood or stone or metal, but sometimes we place a higher value on things than they are worthy of. Sometimes things or other people or practices and habits push God out of that prominent place in our lives. May that not be so for us, but may we be enamored only with the true and living God whom we have the privilege to know, love, and serve.