If we are committed disciples, if we really want to be who God has called us to be, if we are intentional in any way about discipleship, we will try to be like Jesus. But something else will actually happen: we will become what we think Jesus is like. And if our mental picture of Jesus looks the way it does because we have placed some of ourselves into him, because we have created Jesus in our image instead of seeing the historical Jesus for who He was (and is), then what results is an amplification effect in which we become more like ourselves rather than more like Jesus…
Over time, we slow acculturate—we become more like the culture around us as we begin to believe that Jesus would live and operate in our culture in the same way we would. Instead of us becoming like Christ, we make Christ look like us. We make Jesus fit into Christianity instead of reshaping Christianity to look the way Jesus would have wanted it. – Jacob Fonczak, Yeshua Matters
But once you are in, you are in. And I’ve found that people will engage in incredible mental gymnastics to force out the Truth and hold fast to a lie.
Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel. 2 Thus says the Lord, “Do not learn the way of the nations, and do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens although the nations are terrified by them; 3 For the customs of the peoples are delusion; because it is wood cut from the forest, the work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool. 4 “They decorate it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers so that it will not totter (Jer 10:1-4 NASB).
The “way of the nations” speaks of the false spirituality of the pagans. The “signs of the heavens” were the occult practices, which the Israelites thought they could keep in their lives. They are told clearly that Jehovah God would have none of it. And further, it was absurd to think that something fashioned by the hands of man could be greater than the hands which fashioned it. Man-made doctrines are spiritually meaningless and will only lead people away from the True Knowledge of God.
“Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they, and they cannot speak; they must be carried, because they cannot walk! Do not fear them, for they can do no harm, nor can they do any good.” 6 There is none like You, O Lord; You are great, and great is Your name in might. 7 Who would not fear You, O King of the nations? Indeed it is Your due! For among all the wise men of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is none like You. 8 But they are altogether stupid and foolish in their discipline of delusion— their idol is wood! (Jer 10:5-8 NASB).
Their “discipline of delusion” or “doctrine of vanities” is teaching that their absurd notions of pagan spirituality could be of any protection or benefit to them. And yet, they continued to rely on their phony methods for salvation.
Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of a craftsman and of the hands of a goldsmith; violet and purple are their clothing; they are all the work of skilled men. 10 But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure His indignation. 11 Thus you shall say to them, “The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth will perish from the earth and from under the heavens” (Jer 10:9-11 NASB).
They believed that the more elaborate their doctrines of delusion, the more relevant and helpful they would be. However, they were man-made inventions, not grounded in Truth, and thus, sawdust, regardless of what element they were crafted from.
“The True God” literally means “a God in Truth.” It is given in this vein to emphasize the idea of “Truth.” Only the Word of God is Truth, will all else being a fabrication inspired by the wandering heart of man influenced by Satan.
It is He who made the earth by His power, Who established the world by His wisdom; and by His understanding He has stretched out the heavens. 13 When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain, and brings out the wind from His storehouses. 14 Every man is stupid, devoid of knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols; for his molten images are deceitful, and there is no breath in them. 15 They are worthless, a work of mockery; in the time of their punishment they will perish (Jer 10:12-15 NASB).
Over and over again, the Holy Spirit declares Jehovah as the Creator of the world. His Almighty Power made the world and His Wisdom established a set of fixed laws which govern its seasons, rotation, and productivity. Nothing that pertains to His Creation is by chance, happenstance, or confusion.
“Every man is stupid, devoid of knowledge” emphasizes the point that human knowledge is corrupt. Only the Word of God is Divine. The inventions of man are foolishness at best. Not only will the mental idols of man perish, but their worshippers will as well.
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. 17 Pick up your bundle from the ground, You who dwell under siege! 18 For thus says the Lord, “Behold, I am slinging out the inhabitants of the land at this time, and will cause them distress, that they may be found.” (Jer 10:16-18 NASB).
“The portion of Jacob” was totally unlike the portion of the pagan, who did not know God at all. Jehovah God was judging His People for their continued rebellious pollution of worship with the affliction of the Babylonians. In their captivity, the people of Jerusalem would not be allowed to take anything with them to Babylon which they could not carry in hand.
For the shepherds have become stupid and have not sought the Lord; therefore they have not prospered, and all their flock is scattered. 22 The sound of a report! Behold, it comes— a great commotion out of the land of the north— to make the cities of Judah a desolation, a haunt of jackals. 23 I know, O Lord, that a man’s way is not in himself, nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps (Jer 10:21-23 NASB).
The “shepherds” or “pastors” refer to Jehoiakim and the Princes. They were fallen spiritual leaders who would not protect their people. They would be scattered by the Babylonians, along with their people. If full and total correction were given these, they would be totally destroyed.
After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, The cup is the New Testament in My Blood. This do you, as oft as you drink it, in remembrance of Me. For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the LORD’s death till He come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the LORD, unworthily, shall be guilty of the Body and Blood of the LORD. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he who eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the LORD’s Body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep (I Cor 11:25-30 KJV).