Saturday, March 26, 2016

It's Easter week, but you could run down to Target  or such and buy another idol if you want.  They probably have a Buddha to put on the shelf, or maybe that Indian one with all the arms, if you'd rather.  Jeremiah10 gives a satire on idolatry...

"For the customs of the peoples are delusion;
Because it is wood cut from the forest,
The work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool.
They decorate it with silver and with gold;
They fasten it with nails and with hammers
So that it will not totter.
Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they,
And they cannot speak;
They must be carried,
because they cannot walk!
Do not fear them
For they can do no harm,
Nor can they do any good.
There is none like Thee, O Lord"
 (verses 3-5)
Do we prop up any idols so they do not totter? Psalm 50 speaks of how we treat God...

"Hear, O My people, and I will speak;
O Israel, I will testify against you;
I am God, your God.
I do not reprove you for your sacrifices,
And your burnt offerings are continually before Me.
I shall take no young bull out of your house,
No male goats out of your folds.
For every beast of the forest is Mine,
The cattle on a thousand hills.
I know every bird of the mountains,
And everything that moves in the field is Mine.
If I were hungry, I would not tell you;
For the world is Mine, and all it contains...
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving."
(verses 7-14)


Do we try to sneak God snacks to appease Him?  That's what the Chinese do in their temples.  Do we act like it is big of us to offer God our puny little sacrifices?  Our God does not totter or need to be propped up.  He is no wooden idol we carved for ourselves like a scarecrow in a cucumber field to scare away the flocks of dark wings.  He is God.  He says, "the world is Mine and all it contains."  What can we offer then?  A sacrifice of thanksgiving.  "He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me." (verse 23) 

Even more, God made the perfect sacrifice, His Son of whom this Easter is the celebration.  No more bulls, no more goats, no more lambs led to the slaughter for the Lamb of God once and for all gave His ultimate sacrifice to take away our sin.  All we have left to do is be thankful.

On the flip side, the wicked hate discipline.  Hmm.  They cast God's words behind them. (verse 16-17)  "You thought that I was just like you." (verse 21)  We want to fashion God down to our size, manageable, to make Him into our image.  We forget that man was create in His image.  Be careful, a lion is coming, of whom He warns, "Now consider this, you who forget God, Lest I tear you in pieces, and there will be none to deliver," (verse 22) No idols can run to your rescue. 
The cross is our symbol, a cross to heavy for us to carry, a cross too painful for us to bear.  We also have a stone that was rolled away, a stone to heavy for us to move, an empty grave. where we grasp for air in the emptiness of death, for it is conquered.  He is not there.  Empty.  Grave.  He is risen.  Do we wish that He had left us some tangible, hands on thingy-ma-bob we could bow down to, something that needed to be dusted upon our shelf?  We must come empty, so that we can be filled with the sacrifice of thanksgiving God requires.  

Happy Easter

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