Recently, I took the time to read all of the prophets. I started with Isaiah and read straight through Malachi. I didn't do it all in one setting of course. Although I do have the time for that sort of thing. If you haven't ever read through them, then you really should. They were written to the people of Israel, but the fact that God never changes makes so much of them applicable to us. If you really want to see how much God wants a relationship with mankind, then you will find those answers in the prophets. You can feel the pain of God as the Israelites chase after other gods. I am sure he feels the same way as we chase after other gods ourselves. I wanted to look at a couple of verses from Jeremiah, and just give you a few thoughts on them.
Has any nation ever traded its gods for new ones, even though they are not gods at all? Yet my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols. For my people have done two evil things: They have abandoned me-the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all! Jeremiah 2:11-13
The Israelites had followed the glory of God through the Red sea and through the wilderness. He had appeared as a pillar of fire to light their way. They had disobeyed God by driving out all of the people of the land. God had commanded them to do this, because he knew that the people of Israel would be draw away to worship idols. God longed to have a people of his own. It is the reason that he had originally called Abraham from Ur. He wanted to reveal himself. He had done so much for the people, but they had a short memory and went after other gods. The irony is that they were the people of the Living God, and they had abandoned him for idols of stone. They had abandoned God for gods that were no gods at all. They were worthless idols. They had the very fount of living water, and had exchanged it for cisterns that won't hold water!
We all have our idols. Our idols are not made of stone or wood, but are just as detestable. God is longing to live among us, but we have to be willing to lay everything aside. In Romans, Paul says that the people had traded the truth of God for a lie. I know that I have been guilty of the same thing in my own life. My pet idol is the opinion of men. I have built my life around the opinion of other people. God has already made a judgement on my worth. When I listen to others and ignore the words of God, then I am guilty of digging a worthless cistern. Let's be honest a cistern that doesn't hold water is of no use at all. We have a large variety of idols. I talked in an earlier post about coming to God with "buts". Every time we come to God and say but, then we have cast him off the throne and taken it over ourselves. When you challenge what God has already said, then you are saying that you are the final authority. That is not a position that we were meant to sit in. God is the final authority. We can't make up the rules along the way. We are called to follow him. We are not called to accept what we can, and then cast aside what is inconvenient. What is it that takes precedence over God? We have in Jesus the living water. Are we really going to trade that for a cistern that won't hold water? God has called us each before the foundation of the earth, and he has something amazing for us. We will never grasp a hold of that until we are willing to lay down all of our idols. We need to put all that in God's hands and trust him with it. He is God and he is always good.