Wednesday, January 2, 2013

self-determination = self-deception

I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. Correct me, O LORD, but in justice; not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing.
Jeremiah 10:23-24

The prophet's response to God's warning against the outcomes of idolatry invites God to change his heart through correction. The reality of idolatry was all around Jeremiah. Jerusalem was so inundated with false worship perpetuated by the nation's leaders that the culture was steeped in it. It was everywhere part of every day life. And it was really why God was bringing judgment. Under all the sins of Judah, idolatry was a pernicious root.

And the reason that idolatry had become a cultural mainstay was that the leaders had made their own choices based on their desires to be like other nations. They trusted in themselves and trusted in idols. They did not choose to trust God. They decided to be self-determining people, rejecting the authority of God and His Law over them.

Jeremiah is so sensitive to this that He invites God to bring correction to the prophet's own heart, lest he too had been deceived in some degree by idolatry. He acknowledged the power and failure of self determination. He knew God would correct him gently if indeed he had been influenced in this way. And this set the example for what the nation should have done.

So this prayer of Jeremiah's serves me well in my times. I believe that my culture worships false gods and rejects God's authority. The predominant philosophy encourages some iteration of "the way of a man is in himself". May God correct me so that I may wade against the flow of this flood and rescue those so deceived.

No comments: