In The Wizard of Oz, the Scarecrow dreams of getting a brain. On the road, he sings, “I would not be just a nothin’ / My head all full of stuffin’...If I only had a brain.” Dorothy agrees, “With the thoughts you’ll be thinkin’/ You could be another Lincoln / If you only had a brain.”
At this point in the book of Jeremiah, you may be thinking that the people of Judah should have been singing this same song! If they’d only had a brain, they would have repented and returned to the Lord. Idolatry was not complicated. They knew that exchanging their “glorious God” for “worthless idols” (Jer. 2:11) was a big mistake.
Idols are objects made by human craftsmen, so why would God’s people choose to worship them? They cannot walk, speak or do anything else, good or bad. They’re “like a scarecrow in a cucumber field” (10:5). Not even the crows respect them! Furthermore, the Jews were God’s chosen people. They had been given His Law. Why would they follow the ways of sinful nations? Jeremiah compares these idols to the one true God (vv. 6–7). Our God is King over all nations. He deserves to be feared and worshiped. There is none like Him!
This back-and-forth pattern continues throughout today’s reading—an attack on Judah’s idolatry, followed by words of praise for the Lord. As far as idols go, it’s “senseless and foolish” to worship sticks of wood (vv. 8–9; see Isa. 41:22–24). They can do nothing (v. 11). They’re dead, powerless, a fraud (vv. 14–15). Our God, by contrast, is “not like these” at all (v. 16). He’s true, living, eternal, and sovereign (v. 10). As the Creator, He “made the earth by his power” and “founded the world by his wisdom” (vv. 12–13).
>> We all have blind spots and temptations. Ask the Lord to examine your hearts and teach you His wisdom (Ps. 90:12).
When we seek wisdom, we do not want the cynical wisdom of the world! We want Your wisdom, Lord. Show us our blind spots where sinful attitudes and habits damage our witness and hinder our relationship with You.