Recently in my Bible studies, I have been focusing on some of the picturesque language that communicates truth to us. I have been spending a lot of time in the book of Jeremiah. In many ways we do not envy the ministry of this weeping prophet. Seldom did people heed his warnings. His was a lonely venture speaking for God.
On one occasion Jeremiah spoke about the folly of following after idols instead of the living God. It would be easy for us to dismiss this teaching because , after all, we are much too sophisticated to fashion idols out of wood, stone or other materials. That would be a mistake. We all have bowed down to the inventions of our minds even if we have avoided the inventions of our hands.
Jeremiah paints a vivid picture of the foolishness of inventing and following idols. Read his words:
Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field,
and they cannot speak;
they have to be carried,
for they cannot walk.
Do not be afraid of them,
for they cannot do evil,
neither is it in them to do good.”
(Jeremiah 10:5 ESV)
Like scarecrows in a cucumber field. That is what our idols are like. They cannot speak. That is, they cannot teach us, comfort us nor guide us.
They cannot move. Instead of the Lord who leads us by his own movements, idol worshippers have to move their ideals in the direction they already want to move. It is like the Ouija board game. Ask a question and then move the game piece towards the answer that you want to receive.
That’s the problem with idols. They take you where you already want to go on your own. Or you take them where you already want to go. They just add a “spiritual” element or justification to your sinful desires.
In the midst of a cucumber field, a lifeless scarecrow cannot really protect the crops from the hungry birds. If the birds ignore the scarecrow, they face no consequence of feasting on your vegetable plants. Only the living God of heaven can protect you.
Are you building scarecrows (idols) in your fields? If so, you are on your own.