How’s That Working Out For You?

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S (Scripture): Jeremiah 2:20 Long ago I broke your yoke; I shattered your chains.
But even then you said, “I won’t serve you.”
On every high hill and under every lush tree, you have acted like a prostitute.

28 Where are the gods you have made for yourselves?
Let’s see if they will come through for you in your time of trouble.
You have as many gods, Judah, as you have towns.

3:6 During the rule of King Josiah, the Lord said to me: Have you noticed what unfaithful Israel has done? She’s gone about looking for lovers on top of every high hill and under every lush tree. 7 I thought that after she had done all this she would return to me, but she didn’t. Her disloyal sister Judah saw this. 8 She also saw that I sent unfaithful Israel away with divorce papers because of all her acts of unfaithfulness; yet disloyal sister Judah was not afraid but kept on playing the prostitute.

O (Observation): God sent prophets to the people of Judah and Israel, because they needed to hear from God regarding their actions and how they pleased or displeased God.   

In this case, Jeremiah – God’s prophet – warns God’s people that they are acting like a prostitute, giving themselves over to other gods, and dismissing the one, true God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.    

God’s people invented other gods on every hill and under every tree, seeking their own will, dismissing God’s will.  

A (Application):  Dr. Phil – a day time talk show host – likes to hear people’s stories and offers suggestions for how to improve their lives.    When people explain their situation and how they are so sure of their course of action, Dr. Phil likes to ask: “So how’s that working out for you?”  Usually, the answer is that things are not going so well.  

Asking that question gives one pause – or at least it should give you pause.    Take stock of how things are so far.   Is this path working for you?   For others?  Who’s the author of this path?  You?  God / the Spirit?  

Is your path helping you to bear fruit for God’s Kingdom?  Are you growing in faith in God?  Are you welcoming others to join the path with you?  If you are not bearing fruit, perhaps you can take stock, listen for God, and see a clearer path forward.   

When you sense the Holy Spirit asking you, “How’s that working out for you?” maybe it’s time to step back into prayer and see what God has in store : )

P (Prayer):  God, remind us that you are our Savior, and will give us everything we need.   Amen.   


Our God Reigns…right?

S (Scripture): Psalm 82:1 God stands in the assembly of El; in the midst of the gods he renders judgment.

2 He says,…

6 “I thought, ‘You are gods; all of you are sons of the Most High.’

7 Yet you will die like mortals; you will fall like all the other rulers.”

8 Rise up, O God, and execute judgment on the earth! For you own all the nations.

O (Observation):  The psalmist recognizes God as THE GOD among all gods.  Ancient Israel recognizes other gods, but only submitted to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  (Well, they goofed on that one quite a bit…)

 God is imagined to be standing in an assembly with all of the gods, chastising the other gods for not acting justly.   And so, God judges the others…noting that they will all fall away…just like earthly rulers, they will not last forever.  

A (Application):  I certainly sense other gods in my midst:  the draw towards money, fame, laziness, self-satisfaction, etc.   These are our competing gods.   

What are the gods that compete for your allegiance?

I struggle everyday with these gods…but I shouldn’t feel that is necessary.  Our God stands above all others.  All other gods will fall away.  The allegiance I give to these other gods is in vain.    

But I do it anyway…ugh!

P (Prayer): Lord, not all of my actions or thoughts are resolved.   I do the things I shouldn’t.  I pay attention to the other gods around me.  Help me, God of grace and mercy.  Amen.  

Who’s Your Idol?


S (Scripture): Psalm 115:2 Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”
115:3 Our God is in heaven! He does whatever he pleases!
115:4 Their idols are made of silver and gold –they are man-made.
115:5 They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see,
115:6 ears, but cannot hear, noses, but cannot smell,
115:7 hands, but cannot touch, feet, but cannot walk. They cannot even clear their throats.

O (Observation): Idols were things that folks could make out of silver and gold and wood and stone, things that people could see and touch. Folks wanted something that they could experience here in this world.

The challenge brought forth by the author of this psalm reminds the owners of these idols that these idols do not breathe, do not think,…heck, they can’t even clear their throats (Ahem!)!

What power can possibly reside in these human-made idols? None!

A (Application): . “Those people are so different from us!” This is what we typically think when we look back to the Psalms.

But then, think about who our idols and gods are today: money, houses, fancy cars, titles… These are all gods made by us, not by God. We, too, what to put our hands on our gods. We want to be able to see them and touch them and hold them.

Martin Luther shares what a God is, in his explanation to the First Commandant in his Large Catechism:
A god means that from which we are to expect all good and to which we are to take refuge in all distress, so that to have a God is nothing else than to trust and believe Him from the [whole] heart

While we might not be able to see our God, our God is the one who reigns. Our God lives and acts in this world. Our God is the one in whom we can trust and believe. For a God made from our hands can be fully comprehended by us, and is therefore limited by us, because we are limited in wisdom and function in this world.

What are some of your gods? (Here are some of mine: affirmation, approval, money, iPhone, Fantasy Football : )

How can you learn to rely on God again? This blog is one step. If you want someone else to join you in daily readings of the Scriptures, grab a few friends, sit down and read this blog together. Discuss. Give feedback.

P (Prayer): Lord God, bring us to a posture of humility and dependence on you for all that we are and all that we do. Amen.