no breath in them
Jeremiah 51:15-19 (JDV)
Jeremiah 51:15 He made the land by his strength, established the world by his wisdom, and spread out the skies by his intelligence.
Jeremiah 51:16 When he thunders, the waters in the sky agitate, 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 51:17 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 51:18 They are temporary, a work to be mocked. At the time of their punishment they will be destroyed.
Jeremiah 51:19 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.
no breath in them
Jeremiah had the same argument against idolatry that Habakkuk used:
“Woe to him who says to a piece of wood, ‘Awake!’ To a mute stone, ‘Arise!’ And that is your teacher? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, And there is no breath at all inside it (Habakkuk 2:19 (NASB)
Remember that Moses, describing God’s creation of the universe, spoke of his Breath shaking the waters. Habakkuk accentuates a clear distinction between the paltry gods of the nations, who cannot even put breath in their idols, but God puts his breath of life into the universe, and creates new life.
So, what Habakkuk is saying is that these idols are not gods, and he proves it by asserting that they lack the one thing that God himself has: breath. The idols are dead stone and wood, and that is why it is blasphemy to worship them. They are not the givers of life. They are not the Sacred Breath.
Lord, thank you for giving us life. Keep us from worshiping lifeless things.
e-books by Jefferson Vann
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