worshiping scarecrows

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worshiping scarecrows

Jeremiah 10:1-16 (JDV)

Jeremiah 10:1 Hear the word that Yahveh has spoken to you, house of Israel.

Jeremiah 10:2 This is what Yahveh says: Do not learn the way of the nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, although the nations are terrified by them,

Jeremiah 10:3 because the customs of the peoples are temporary. Someone cuts down a tree from the forest; it is worked by the hands of a craftsman with a chisel.

Jeremiah 10:4 He decorates it with silver and gold. It is fastened with hammer and nails, so it won’t wobble.

Jeremiah 10:5 Like scarecrows in a cucumber patch, their idols cannot speak. They must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them because they can do no harm – and they cannot do any good.

Jeremiah 10:6 Yahveh, there is no one like you. You are great; your name is great in power.

Jeremiah 10:7 Who should not fear you, King of the nations? It is what you deserve. Because among all the wise people of the nations and among all their kingdoms, there is no one like you.

Jeremiah 10:8 They are both stupid and foolish, instructed by temporary idols made of wood!

Jeremiah 10:9 Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish and gold from Uphaz. The work of a craftsman and of a goldsmith’s hands is clothed in blue and purple, all the work of skilled artisans.

Jeremiah 10:10 But Yahveh is the true God; he is the living God and permanent King. The land quakes at his wrath, and the nations cannot endure his rage.

Jeremiah 10:11 You are to say this to them: “These gods that did not make the sky and the land will be destroyed from the land and from under the sky.”[1]

Jeremiah 10:12 He made the land by his power, established the world by his wisdom, and spread out the sky by his understanding.

Jeremiah 10:13 When he thunders, the waters in the sky are in turmoil, and he causes the clouds to rise from the ends of the land. He makes lightning for the rain and brings the wind from his storehouses.

Jeremiah 10:14 Everyone is stupid and ignorant. Every goldsmith is put to shame by his carved image, because his cast images are a lie; there is no breath in them.

Jeremiah 10:15 They are temporary, a work to be mocked. At the time of their punishment they will be destroyed.

Jeremiah 10:16 Jacob’s Portion is not like these because he is the one who formed all things. Israel is the tribe of his inheritance; Yahveh of Armies is his name.

worshiping scarecrows

Jeremiah appeals to his nation because they should know better. They are following the pagan nations all around them, and trusting in the temporary things, instead of the God who is permanent, who made everything.

Jeremiah pokes fun of these useless idols by likening them to scarecrows in a cucumber patch. That’s about all they are good for – to keep the birds away.

Our generation thinks it is above the foolishness of idolatry, but it is not. People still trust in temporary things, and then come to a point in their lives when they realize that those temporary things cannot give them peace of mind or purpose of life. They have worshiped scarecrows, and there is nothing else.

Lord, draw us to yourself, and give us the courage to burn our scarecrows.


[1] This verse is the center of a chiasm (10:2-16) and appears to have been highlighted by Jeremiah by its having been written in Aramaic instead of Hebrew!

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About Jefferson Vann

Jefferson Vann is pastor of Piney Grove Advent Christian Church in Delco, North Carolina. You can contact him at marmsky@gmail.com -- !
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