“Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them. They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.
Can we be certain of anything? This is one of the looming questions of philosophy. One school of philosophers, known as the rationalists, insisted that since our five senses can sometimes deceive us, the only reliable avenue to truth was the exercise of right reason. The fact that some of the greatest and most influential philosophers of all time were rationalists should not intimidate us into blindly following their lead. As Christians, we know that any pursuit of truth without reference to God is doomed to fail. Rationalism is no exception. First, the rules of right reason need a source. What might that be, if not God? The rationalists have no answer. Secondly, we notice that among the rationalists there is a wide range of conflicting beliefs about reality. How can this be when each man assures us that he has reached his conclusions through the exercise of right reason? This leads directly to the third and most important point, namely, that man’s unaided reason is far from infallible. We are limited, finite, foolish, and prone to error. Without God’s help, man is an intellectual and moral disaster. Some of the ancients wisely acknowledged their need for outside help, but, as today’s verse passage reminds us, foolishly sought that help from something other than God. In the end, these people end up as foolish as the idols they worship. The Object of our worship is different. “The portion of Jacob is not like them,” said God’s man, Jeremiah, “for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: The LORD of hosts is his name” (Jeremiah 10:16). Whereas the pagan gods are said to have imposed order on preexisting matter, our God created the universe from nothing. “But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king” (Jeremiah 10:10). This means that all of His religious competitors are inanimate fakes. Our God “made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion” (Jeremiah 10:12). Here the prophet reminds us that the Creator is a personal, intelligent Agent. He is not only powerful, He exercises wisdom and discretion. The God of the Bible is our personal and dependable source and resource. We turn to Him for wisdom, knowledge, and insight. We rely on His limitless strength when we feel weak. We trust in Him to supply all our need (Philippians 4:19; Colossians 2:10), just because in addition to all His other attributes of greatness, our God is love itself. May we love Him with all our hearts, trust Him with all our minds, and serve Him with all our strength today, for His glory and for the good of others.
God bless you,