Taking Idolatry Seriously (Jeremiah 18:1-19:9)
What struck me in this section was the attitude displayed by the Israelites in Jeremiah 18:12. Through Jeremiah, the Lord was calling them to repentance for their idolatry. But their response was this: ‘It’s no use. We will continue with our own plans; we will all follow the stubbornness of our evil hearts.’
Despite the stern warning of what would happen, despite Jeremiah’s object lesson with the clay in the potter’s hands, the people just weren’t taking it seriously. They considered the warnings of no use. They had no intentions of changing their ways.
It’s easy to look down at them, at their obvious sin, at their overt rejection of God’s call to repentance for their idolatry. How could they have such an attitude? Weren’t they alarmed at the harshness of the judgment God threatened?
But this leads me to consider my own idolatry. Idolatry is not limited to acts of worship directed at idols like Baal and Ashtoreth. Idolatry is putting anything – including my own will – ahead of serving and following and loving the true God. John Calvin wrote that the human heart is an idol factory. We are constantly putting things before God – our pleasures, our wills, our grudges, our possessions, our plans, etc. In fact at its core all sin is idolatry.
Do I take it seriously? Do I see the idols in my heart? Is my repentance sincere?
I am thankful that my Lord Jesus took on himself the full extent of God’s judgment for my idolatry. I am thankful that by His grace, I have forgiveness. So undeserved. Yet so freely given.
My prayer today is that the Holy Spirit reveal to me the idolatry that so easily wells up within me. I pray that He would lead me to true repentance, turning away from all such idolatry, to follow Christ alone.
What is the Word leading you to pray about today?
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