Idols are False Gods, a dream, an imagination

Psalms 115:3-8 ESV  Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.  (4)  Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands.  (5)  They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see.  (6)  They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell.  (7)  They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and they do not make a sound in their throat.  (8)  Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them.

G.K. Beale, my favorite theologian, wrote a book called We Become What we Worship: A Biblical Theology of Idolatry. It is an incredibly important Bible doctrine that we all need to know well. Beale points to the verses above from Psalm 115 as his central text. Especially verse 8 – those who make them become like them. 

The typical local church of our day is worshipping false gods fashioned by their own devices and imaginations. As they do so, they themselves become increasingly blind. They have eyes but do not see, ears but do not hear – just like their idols.

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A Warning to Those who Harbor the Wicked

Jeremiah 7:5-8 ESV  “For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another,  (6)  if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm,  (7)  then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.  (8)  “Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail.

Listen to Matthew Henry’s comment on these verses. The underlining is mine:

Those that had power in their hands must thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor, without partiality, and according as the merits of the case appeared. They must not either in judgment or in contract oppress the stranger, the fatherless, or the widow, nor countenance or protect those that did oppress, nor refuse to do them justice when they sought for it. [Matthew Henry, Commentary on Jeremiah]

We all know that abusers and other evildoers work very hard to gather allies for themselves. And frankly, in local churches, they don’t have to work all that hard to accomplish this. We have firsthand testimony time after time after time of how a pastor, other church leaders, or church members did exactly what the Lord is commanding Jeremiah’s countrymen to repent of. They do countenance (approve) of these wicked people and protect them from judgment.

Continue reading “A Warning to Those who Harbor the Wicked”