Thus says the Lord:
“Do not learn the way of the Gentiles;
Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven,
For the Gentiles are dismayed at them. (Jeremiah 10:2)
For the customs of the peoples are futile;
For one cuts a tree from the forest,
The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.
4 They decorate it with silver and gold;
They fasten it with nails and hammers
So that it will not topple.
5 They are upright, like a palm tree,
And they cannot speak;
They must be carried,
Because they cannot go by themselves.
Do not be afraid of them,
For they cannot do evil,
Nor can they do any good.” (Jeremiah 10:3-5)
Do not learn the way of the Gentiles:
Even Lord Jesus commanded the disciples saying, “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles”
5 These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matthew 10:5-6)
What is the way of the Gentiles?
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:31-33)
The way of the gentile is only to seek and worry after the things of this world. The way of the children of God is to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them.26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. (Matthew 20:25-26)
The way of the gentile is to Lord it over other (to boss over others). The way of the Lord is servant leadership.
The gentiles are dismayed at the signs of heaven; we are not to be dismayed by it. (10:2)
The gentiles make their own gods. In other words their gods are idols which are fashioned by their own hands – idols of wood, mud and stone. The Israelites made a golden calf and called it Jehovah God. (10:3-5)
The Future of every god (man made or self proclaimed)
Thus you shall say to them: “The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens.” (Jeremiah 10:11)
Very rarely do people rise above the level of their leaders. This is especially true in the area of personal character. Thus, dull leaders give birth to their own kind – pathetic people and together they share the unhappy effects of their common corruption.
This was the problem in the days of Jeremiah and it was the cause of great calamity.
For the shepherds have become dull-hearted,
And have not sought the Lord;
Therefore they shall not prosper,
And all their flocks shall be scattered.”
– Jeremiah 10:21 (NKJV)
The remedy, of course, is that leaders must lead well. They must lead with integrity, always setting a good example, and tending to the deepest needs of the people entrusted to them. Simon Peter understood this and he offers the following counsel.
The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. – 1 Peter 5:1-4 (NKJV)
Notice, the reason why the Shepherds have become dull hearted – it is because they have not sought the Lord.
What are the effects of not seeking the Lord
- Dull hearted
- Not prospering
- Flocks are scattered
O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself;
It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.
24 O Lord, correct me, but with justice;
Not in Your anger, lest You bring me to nothing. (Jeremiah 10:23-24)
Pour out Your fury on the Gentiles, who do not know You,
And on the families who do not call on Your name;
For they have eaten up Jacob,
Devoured him and consumed him,
And made his dwelling place desolate. (Jeremiah 10:25)