By LuAnn Edwards
What can we learn from a belt? In Jeremiah Chapter 13, during a time when most of the Children of Israel were worshiping idols, God told Jeremiah to buy a belt (sash) and bind it around his waist. In the same way, God wants us to be bound to Him.
God told Jeremiah to hide the belt in the rocks, and many days later He told him to go back and get the belt. When Jeremiah retrieved the belt, he found it ruined and completely useless.
This tattered belt represented the people who had not listened to God, who were ruined and no longer bound to the Lord. People who once had intimacy with God were now without Him and bound instead by pride to counterfeit gods.
Are we, too, bound to idols and counterfeit gods? Has something or someone taken God’s place in our lives?
“An idol is whatever you look at and say in your heart, ‘If I have that then I will feel like my life has meaning, then I will know I have value, then I will feel significant and secure.’” – Timothy Keller, author
Pastor Cook described three examples of counterfeit gods in our lives: money, another person, and ourselves. Listen to the podcast here.
Money is good for buying necessities such as food, shelter, and clothing. However, money can be unreliable. 1 Timothy 6:17 tells us not to put hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put our hope in God who provides us with everything. Money can also cause us to wander from the faith. 1 Timothy 6:10 says that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.
We often elevate another person to the place God should hold. We bind ourselves to our spouse, a friend, or a child. They become the object of our deepest affection, the most important thing in our lives. God desires this place of honor. He wants us to love and enjoy other people, but He should be the one we adore and worship.
It is not difficult to find people consumed with themselves. “I deserve to be happy. It’s all about me and making me feel good. How many likes can I get on my selfie? How important am I to my friends?” We need to be on guard to make sure we do not elevate ourselves to the place where God longs to be.
What is God asking you to live without? Which idol is of greatest value to you? Are you going to place your security in money, another person, yourself, or be bound to God?