JEREMIAH - CHAPTER 10 - JUDGMENT OF IDOLS
JEREMIAH – CHAPTER 10
Judgment of Idols of Superstition and Climate Change
Tuesday Morning Bible Study
March 16, 2021
Pastor Carolyn Sissom
Sunday, I asked our church members to check their hearts for idols. I believe we are in a season of God’s visitation in righteousness, judgment and justice on the earth. God’s righteousness reveals uncircumcised hearts and the wickedness in our government and our land.
Sunday evening, I gave a Word that in the Book of Jeremiah, we would find the “keys” which will lead the Church by God’s Spirit through this season of judgment and overturning in the earth.
In Chapter Ten, Jeremiah concludes his “Temple Message” (7-10) by reminding Judah that Jehovah is the True God, and that their practice of worshipping idols is vain superstition. It seems that the threat of the Babylonians invasion spurred the people to great activity in the manufacture of idols. This was further aggravation of their already appalling sin against God. The folly of worshipping idols is outlined in verses 1-16 and the judgment to be visited upon it.
They just keep digging deeper in sin and judgment. God makes the punishment fit the crime.
10:1-3: Hear what the Lord says to you; o house of Israel. This is what the Lord says: Learn not the ways of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of the heaven: for the heathen are dismayed at them. The customs of the nations are worthless. They cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel. They adorn it with silver and gold. They fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter. Like a scarecrow in a melon patch, 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.
Jeremiah is here addressing superstition both with the signs in the sky and the idols. The signs were extraordinary appearances, such as eclipses, or comets, and they were taken by the heathen as indications of calamities on earth, i.e., superstition. This also identifies astrology as idolatry looking to the stars to tell their future,
Verses 2-4 is often attributed to our modern Christmas trees. However, almost all of the commentaries agree that these were tree trunks made into a pillar of an upright god, an image of a man carved in it and covered with silver and gold plates and fastened it with nails. This making of an idol is the same as described in Isa. 4:17; 44:12-17 where it is plainly stated that they made gods out of the trunks of trees.
The teaching was that the idol made of a tree trunk and covered with silver and gold was the true god and the one to protect the nation. It was a doctrine of vanities and superstition, for every detail of the teaching about the idol was vain. The images of deities in Mesopotamia were fed, dressed and even washed daily.
Jeremiah responds with an outburst of praise:
10: 6-11: No one is like you, O Lord; you are great, and your name is mighty in power. Who should not revere you, O King of the nations? This is your due. Among all the wise men of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is no one like you. They are all senseless and foolish. They are taught by worthless wooden idols, hammered silver is brought from Tarshish and gold from Uphaz. What the craftsman and goldsmith have made is dressed in blue and purple---all made by skilled workers. 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. Tell them this: These gods who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.
In light of the truth that the Lord is the true and living God in contrast with the false gods which are lifeless idols, Jeremiah is directed by the Lord in verse 11 to deliver an oracle to the nations in the Aramaic language. The gods of the nations are exposed as weak and transient, in explicit contrast to the one true God who created the universe. The idol gods did not make the heavens and the earth, and therefore they will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.
1 Co. 8:4-6: As concerning the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many). But, to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
Jeremiah gives 15 facts about God in this chapter.
- Instructor of Israel (1-5
- He is great. (6)
- None like Him (6-7)
- His name is great in power.
- King of the nations (V.7)
- Cannot be compared to an idol made with hands (8-10)
- He is the true God. (10)
- He is the living God.
- He is the everlasting King (10-24)
- He is the judge of the nation. (10)
- Creator of heavens and earth (11-12(
- He has established earth (12)
- Established the social system
- Regulates times and seasons (13)
- He is the Lord of Hosts (16)
Jer. 10:12-16: God made the earth by his power. He founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding. 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. Everyone is senseless and without knowledge. Every goldsmith is shamed by his idols. The images of the goldsmith are a fraud. They have no breath in them. They are worthless, the objects of mockery. When their judgment comes, they will perish. He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these, for he is the Maker of all things. Including Israel, the tribe of his inheritance. The Lord Almighty is his name.
All the ideology about climate change and global warming is another form of idol worship. The propagators of this ideology actually worship their perceived findings and the belief that man can control the earth’s climate. It is totally defiant of who God is as sovereign over times and seasons. God uses weather patterns for blessing or as instruments of his warfare to bring judgment.
10:14: Everyone is senseless and without knowledge; every goldsmith (scientist, politician) is shamed by his idols. His images are a fraud. They have no breath in them.
Our God is the Maker of the earth, the One who established the inhabited world and the heavens. He sustains it by His might and power. Not only is he the Creator, but he continues to govern the heavens and the earth. The clouds, the rain, thunder and lighting are all at his beck and call. Even the wind belongs to his storehouses.
God has promised: “the days are coming” declares the Lord, “when I will punish all who are uncircumcised in heart (worshipping idols made by hand – Jer. 9).
10: 17-22: Gather up your belongings to leave the land, you who live under siege. For this is what the Lord says: At this time, I will hurl out those who live in this land. I will bring distress on them so that they may be captured. Woe to me because of my injury! My wound is incurable! Yet, I said to myself, “This is sickness, and I must endure it.” My tent is destroyed. All its ropes are snapped. My sons are gone from me, and are no more. No one is left now to pitch my tent, or to set up my shelter. The shepherds are senseless and do not inquire of the Lord. So, they do not prosper, and all their flock is scattered. Listen! The report is coming---a great commotion from the land of the north! It will make the towns of Judah desolate, a haunt of jackals.
Here, again, the prophet and the Lord are speaking interchangeably.
“The covenantal nation has grossly violated the terms of its sacred pact with Yahweh by worshiping gods of wood and stone. Now they are given their marching orders. ‘pack your bags and prepare for exile.’ The Lord will thrust his people out of the land with force. This produces a painful response from Jeremiah. He is pictured here under the figure of a debilitating, uncurable illness. Or he could be using his feelings to describe the condition of Judah and Jeremiah is identifying with his people.
The destroyed “tents” and “shelter” is figurative of every thing in total disarray with the family scattered. The “tent represented the very seat of the family. Jeremiah is speaking on behalf of Jerusalem or the personified city is speaking itself. Jeremiah is referring to the people as his sons.
The senseless leaders are again indicated as stupid and brutish. As the shepherds/leaders go, so the flocks/people go, as witnessed by the books of Kings and Chronicles. Their persistent sin has been the lack of knowledge of God, here specified as their failure to seek him. Without God, the leaders cannot succeed” (Michael L. Brown).
In verse 22, that terrifying, inescapable threat from the north has suddenly reappeared. It is here referred to as a great commotion. The enemy’s advance caused the earth to shake. Desolation will be left in its’ wake.
Prayer of Jeremiah: 10: 23-25: I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps. O Lord, “correct me, but with justice; not in your anger, less you bring me to nothing. Pour out your fury upon the heathen that do not know you, and upon the peoples that do not call on your name. For they have devoured Jacob. They have devoured him completely and destroyed his homeland.
In a final plea, the prophet identifies himself with the suffering people. In 8:22, Judah was past mercy; there was no remedy for the apostasy; so, judgment had to come, and that without fail. 8:22: Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?”
“With the temple destroyed and the people exiled, it should be abundantly clear that it is the height of arrogance and self-deception to think that mere mortals somehow have the power to determine their destiny or order their world with little or no respect given to the Lord.” (Michael L. Brown).
Jeremiah then prays for himself recognizing that even the one who delivered the message of judgment is not exempt from deception and sin, and is therefore in need of divine scrutiny too. Only let it be tempered with mercy since if you correct me in your anger for what I may have done, it will be more than I can bear.
The nations who attacked and devastated Jacob, however, should not receive such compassionate treatment. They deserve the full force of God’s wrath. Judgment and justice are God’s love for redemption to those who will repent.
Lord Jesus you are our Physician and our balm in Gilead for the Praying church of the nation of the United States of America. Lord I pray that you turn this nation back to God that we not suffer any more judgments. I ask you to forgive us of our
sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I ask you to cause this nation to repent of its idolatries and to break the spirit of the idol of idolatry off the people of this nation. Lord we are building pillars of idolatry to finances, politics, climate change, and religion. All of these will be pillars of control for the antichrist. Cause our leaders to repent. Cause the Prophets and Priests to repent that you will turn and bless this nation with safety of our children, that we may have children who are taught of the Lord, salvations, health, goodness and mercy of the Lord for all generations. (prayer written in 2008).
Carolyn Sissom, Pastor
Eastgate Ministries Church
I entered into the labors of Michael L. Brown, Commentary on Jeremiah; Principles of Present Truth by; Kelly Varner. Comments and conclusions are my own from notes I taught in 2008.