The Delusion

DSC05213By Elaine Baldwin | @elainehbaldwin

This is one of multiple pictures of our trek out west to our new home in the state of Washington. The white car is one of two vehicles we drove out. I’m taking the picture from the other one. And, yes, I was driving at the time. I was careful. Don’t know who the semi belongs to. But, I do know who the mountain belongs to.

Itty Bitty car–Ours!

Great Big Mountain–God’s!

It’s been interesting during the months leading up to this trek , that I have been reading in Isaiah and Jeremiah. I’ve not read these with any deep interest since college too many decades ago. Shame on me! But, God has given me a renewed longing (panting like a deer) for all His Word, not just what is easier to understand. What I have found takes my breath away and helps my perspective stay in God-like focus.

There is A LOT I do no understand in these Old Testament prophetic books, but I am determined to gain more insight and application in this next year. And I believe God is determined to give me this insight and application. I know this because He has already smacked me upside the head about idols.

Yes…Idols!

Isaiah and Jeremiah reveal in no uncertain terms what God thinks about idols and it’s not pretty. You may be thinking like I have that the whole discussion of idols has no application for 21st century American Christians. We need to rethink that position. Listen to this…

Hear the word which the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel. Thus says the LORD, “Do not learn the way of the nations, And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens Although the nations are terrified by them; For the customs of the peoples are delusion; Because it is wood cut from the forest, The work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool. They decorate it with silver and with gold; They fasten it with nails and with hammers So that it will not totter. Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they, And they cannot speak; They must be carried, Because they cannot walk! Do not fear them, For they can do no harm, Nor can they do any good.” Jeremiah 10:1-5

Isn’t that exactly what we do today? We may not have mini statues in our homes or gardens, though more and more Americans do, but what we have is actually much worse and more deceitful. We have houses and garages filled with idols made by man’s hands. We are in the same delusion with these idols as the people were in this verse with their wooden idols. We think our diplomas and cars and expensive vacations and boats and designer clothes and plush carpets and four bathrooms can make us better humans. Worse yet, we think these things can save us!

Oh, I know, we don’t physically bow down to these things or utter mantras to them or sing to them. But, we do give them an awful lot of attention and an exorbitant amount of our time. And we do judge others and ourselves by them. And we do worry what we would do without them.

As I was following our itty bitty car up and down one mountain after another, I was struck by how much stock I put into “the customs of the peoples” and how little my trust and faith really is in the God of the Universe!

There is none like You, O LORD; You are great, and great is Your name in might. Who would not fear You, O King of the nations? Indeed it is Your due! For among all the wise men of the nations And in all their kingdoms, There is none like You. Jeremiah 10:6-7

It’s a little crazy to move t0 the northwest in the middle of January. It’s even more crazy to move 2000 miles away from any family and friends. And even crazier to do it all on purpose! But, what is beyond crazy and even delusional is to believe that I control my own destiny (“the customs of the people”) and that my stuff will save me and give me life everlasting.

What is not crazy is resting in the gracious and loving arms of my Savior, Jesus Christ!

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