What Does Jeremiah 10:16 Mean?

The portion of Jacob is not like these; For the Maker of all is He, And Israel is the tribe of His inheritance; The LORD of hosts is His name.

Jeremiah 10:16(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Jeremiah is often known as the weeping prophet, who mourned over the shocking way that Israel turned from the true and living God, Who is the Maker of all. They had turned from the God of their fathers to lifeless idols and false gods. And so Jeremiah lamented that Judah has become so disobedient and had broken the covenant which they made with the Lord at Sinai, and he wept as he prophesised of their downfall, knowing that God's chosen nation had favoured death over life.

The northern kingdom of Israel had already been sent into Assyrian captivity due to their apostasy.. and Jeremiah pleaded with the southern kingdom of Judah to repent of their wicked ways, to turn from their sin.. to renounce their idol worship and to come back to the God of their fathers, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David. He warned that continued disobedience would result in the Babylonian captivity - but God's people were unrepentant and continued in their gross apostasy and ungodly idolatry.

And in this chapter Jeremiah draws a stark contrast between the false, futile gods of the gentiles and Israel's great God and Creator, Who brought them out of the land of Egypt and set their feet on the path of peace. They had forgotten that God was their portion and turned aside to the false gods and goddesses of the surrounding nations. Thy had forgotten that the Lord was the true and living and only God - the Maker of all things, and not a lifeless idol. They had forgotten that Israel had been chosen as God's inheritance.. and that He is not a worthless, vain image of wood or stone.. but the almighty Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel - the Portion of Jacob - and Israel was His inheritance.

He describes the worthless idols of the surrounding nations, which had been carved out of bits of wood or chiseled out of lifeless stone. He poured scorn on these bits of junk which were crafted out of gold or formed from beaten sheets of silver. Jeremiah mocked these false gods, likening them to scarecrows in a cucumber patch - and poured bitter scorn on the stupid ignorant goldsmiths and shameless artisans who crafted idols of wood and statues of stone - contrasting them with the Lord Who by grace, had brought them out of the land of Egypt and had promised to be their portion forever.

Although this is not directly written to the New Testament Church there are many lessons we can learn from this weeping prophet of God and the errant nation of Israel, who had become so enamoured with the ways of the world that they had turned away from the the eternal God and Lord of hosts. How careful we should be to eschew evil and keep our eyes looking to Jesus in all things. How important that we remain on our guard lest we also fall from our present, steadfast condition and sink into similar apostasy or idolatrous ways.. by turning the truth of the living God into a lie.

May we never forget that anything and everything that takes the place of God in our Christian lives become and vain idol and a false god, which dethrones the Lord of our life.. Who is the Saviour of our soul - and Who alone deserves our honour and worship.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, As I read through the life and times of Israel I realise that their initial murmurings and unbelief led them into the most terrible apostasy against Your holy name. Keep me grounded on the Word of Truth - lest I also am carried away by the error of lawlessness and fall from my own secure position in Christ. May I grow in grace, and in a knowledge of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to Who be all praise and glory, AMEN.

Picture courtesy of Free Bible Images

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