Jeremiah 16:20: “Will a man make gods for himself, / Which are not gods?”

April 12th, 2018 by Pastor Ed in devotional

Jeremiah asked a rhetorical question in order to point out the foolishness of those who create gods with their own hands. A perfect illustration of this comes from the life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536–1598), a Japanese warlord who ruled Japan. He commissioned a colossal statue of Buddha to be built for a shrine in Kyoto. It is said that it took 50,000 men five years to build it. The work had scarcely been completed when the earthquake of 1596 brought the roof of the shrine crashing down, wrecking the sculpture. History records that Hideyoshi flew into a rage, shot an arrow at the damaged image, and shouted, “I put you here at great expense, and you can’t even look after your own temple.”

Even in this 21st century, people are still trying to make their own gods, and though they aren’t physical statues, they are false gods just the same. People can make idols out of money, education, romance, love, talent, and even technology. God has given humanity amazing abilities to create and develop. And those things, in and of themselves, are not idols, but have the potential to become idols when the things created are worshiped over the One who gives the ability to create.

A Sunday School teacher asked his class, “How many Gods are there?” “One!” replied a little boy. “How do you know that?” asked the teacher. “Because,” said the boy, “there is only room for one. He fills heaven and earth.”

“LORD, keep us from idols of all kinds this day. Give us the discernment we need to identify idols before they creep into our hearts.”