What Idols Are Worth (Jeremiah 51:18)

They are worthless, a work of mockery;
In the time of their punishment they will perish.

Jeremiah 51:18

The verse is pretty straightforward and I feel like I could just post the verse and write “I’m just going to leave this here ….” but there is something more that impacts me about this.

It is difficult to speak of the idols of the ancient world without saying something about modern science. The reason for this is that much of what the ancients worshiped is now studied in the sciences. Fertility? We have scientists and doctors who study that. Harvest? Got ’em. Life? Yup. Death? Oh, yeah. Weather? Yes. For almost every ancient deity, one can find a field of study in the modern world. For some, these fields are a means of bettering humanity’s lot, for others it is their deity and they will sacrifice anything in its service and pursuit. Their are other things that smack of the same: fame, wealth, “love”, sexual prowess, and on and on. But the sciences most closely mirror the ancients, because both are an attempt to do the same thing: make sense of the natural world. The ancients called these explanations religion. Moderns call these explanations science. The net result is often the same.

What do I worship? It is a valid question and one that every person should examine. The staunch atheist may not worship the true and living God nor any of the obvious pretenders to His throne, but he may worship science or fame or pleasure. The Christian may claim to worship God Almighty, but be spending most of his time in the pursuit of riches and thus prove that he worships wealth above God. And that is the root of the rot. What consumes the majority of my time? Let us, for a moment, ignore the time spent on needful things like the required eight hours of the work day or the time spent eating or attending to other biological needs. How do I spend my free time? If most of it is spent watching television, it is possible that I worship entertainment or pleasure. If most of my spare time is spent working extra hours to earn more money then I may worship wealth or position or prestige. If I spend most of my free time trying to “hook up” with people, then I might worship sex or pleasure or both.

I need to regularly examine myself and how I spend my time. How I spend my time tells me who or what I worship. And I ought to know the answer to the question, because [in] the time of their punishment they will perish. Only God and human souls are going to survive. Everything else is going nuclear.

Who or what am I worshiping? If the true and living God, then I am exactly where I need to be. If anything else; any idol, then I know what they are worth.


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