For a great many people it is a step too far for them to believe that God is real, let alone that he made anything. So therefore, the idea that he preserves the world and everything in it by his wisdom, is laughable. In fact, the whole of today’s passage contains the kind of thing that non-believers particularly love to mock. The idea that we humans actually know nothing, and that the little we do know and have achieved, will all be destroyed on some apocalyptic day of reckoning – “Well, it all a lot of nonsense and mumbo-jumbo” they say.
But although they mock Jeremiah, as his own contemporaries did during his lifetime, how can it be argued that his words hold no truth whatsoever? The heavens proclaim the glory of God.(Psalm 19:1 NLT) Who can argue against the human experience of nature being the most powerful, unpredictable and unstoppable force we have ever known. God has made his creation and his power, clear to all who have eyes to see and ears to hear. If you are having trouble doing either, then perhaps you have invested too much of yourself in worshipping some other god, some other idol.
Jeremiah 10:11-16 NLT
Say this to those who worship other gods: “Your so-called gods, who did not make the heavens and earth, will vanish from the earth and from under the heavens.” But God made the earth by his power, and he preserves it by his wisdom. With his own understanding he stretched out the heavens. When he speaks in the thunder, the heavens roar with rain. He causes the clouds to rise over the earth. He sends the lightning with the rain and releases the wind from his storehouses. The whole human race is foolish and has no knowledge! The craftsmen are disgraced by the idols they make, for their carefully shaped works are a fraud. These idols have no breath or power. Idols are worthless; they are ridiculous lies! On the day of reckoning they will all be destroyed. But the God of Israel is no idol! He is the Creator of everything that exists, including Israel, his own special possession. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is his name!
I am struck by the truth that no man made thing has any real and lasting power to change the world much. Nothing we humans can make or do can last for any length of time (without regular and diligent human maintenance) before nature inevitably reclaims it. Nothing we have made, or have thought of, has brought any meaningful or lasting happiness to the peoples of our world. The thought that lots of money will save us in times of desperate trouble, or that democratic governments will protect our freedoms, or technological progress will bring us joy, has been shown to be a ridiculous set of lies, time after time throughout history. My goal today is to look again at the abundant glory of God on display, all around us, all the time. I will look up at the heavens, in awe and humility, and give thanks to the Lord of Heaven’s Armies for his wonderful creation.
Jeremiah 10:1-11:23, Colossians 3:18-4:18, Psalms 78:56-72, Proverbs 24:28-29