Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 2:4-13
Has a nation changed its gods,
even though they are no gods?
But my people have changed their glory
for something that does not profit.
Be appalled, O heavens, at this,
be shocked, be utterly desolate,
says the Lord,
for my people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me,
the fountain of living water,
and dug out cisterns for themselves,
that can hold no water. –Jeremiah 2:11-13
Have we traded in God for other gods which mean for no god at all? Jeremiah is not only condemning the people for changing gods but trading God, the source of living water, for a god they created that could not hold water at all.
The Dust Bowl in the Great Plains during the 1930’s was to a great extent created by humans. Plowing every inch of available ground in flat, straight rows for grain planting with no concern for the top soil resulted in disaster. Greed is often the idol that we humans replace for God. Oklahoma is a windy state at any time. The relentless wind coupled with no rain for days on end caused the earth to became dryer than dry resulting in precious, necessary topsoil blowing away. We learned from that mistake and in the recovery introduced new and better methods of plowing.
It is sad that we cannot take what we learn from one experience and apply it to similar ones. We do not even retain lessons learned if enough time has elapsed. The prophets of the Hebrew Bible warned the Israelites of coming disaster as the result of their misdirected choices of gods. They did not apply them any better in their time than we do today when we know the disaster that came when the Israelites ignored the prophets.
Following the oil bust of the 1980’s Oklahoma’s economy had to be diversified and proper funding for necessary governmental services allocated and steps were taken to do just that. Now we find ourselves in the same or worse situation because we revoked many of those steps that set our state on stable footing. While the current downturn would have still been challenging, it did not have to become a disaster that will take years to overcome.
Prayer: God forgive us when we create gods of our own making and turn away from you. In our repentance, guide us to your way. Amen.
All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.