Based on a devotional by Sojourn Church (www.sojournchurch.com).
Jeremiah 10:2 “Learn not the ways of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them, for the customs of the peoples are vanity.” Israel was in constant danger of being swept into the thinking and practices of society around her. These peoples watched the sky and the earth. When they saw the ‘signs in the sky’ they immediately made an idol and worshipped it in hopes that things would go their way. God says these customs are worthless.
Christians can all too easily go this same path however. People that should know better are ‘watching the sky.’ They see that the ‘wrong’ leader has been elected, the economy fails, a swine flu pandemic is sweeping the world – they see these things as signs the end is near… and they panic. Why do people panic because of these observations? Because these very things have become their idols. If people value safety, money, and health more than Jesus they will erupt in panic when these securities are threatened. We want to make the most money and avoid the most pain and sickness. We’ve given away our hope in God and received despair in return.
The things of the earth (money, government, pain and sickness), these things are passing away. They cannot rule our lives. They cannot be our gods. When those things fall apart we as Christians must not fall apart because if there is to be any hope in this world, we cannot be running around like headless Chicken Littles telling the watching world that God isn’t real and He offers no hope.
What does God say? He says, “There is none like me, I am great and my name is great in might. Who would be foolish enough not to trust me for I am the King of the nations. Among all the nations, all the wise ones in all their kingdoms, there is none like me.” That’s what God says. In these dark times ( which are really a walk in the park compared to what most peoples on earth have been dealing with for the last 2000 years) we need to be the church proclaiming the light of Christ, proclaiming that there is a God over these things who is great in might and power. Turning from your sin and lust for money and power and believing in Jesus and being reconciled to God – this offers real hope, eternal hope in the face of present fear. This reconciliation to the very God you have hated and warred against is only made possible because while you were still rebelling against God he placed your punishment on his son Jesus who died in your place so that you might be made right with him in faith. Will you turn to him?
Christians, be reminded of what should hold the ultimate place in your life, take heart, and offer hope to those around you.