Monday, August 18. Jeremiah 10 – 12

I don’t think people mean to trivialize God’s word, but it gets done none-the-less. When we apply to scripture a meaning that does not voice the intent of God, we make scripture less that it ought to be.

Jeremiah 10 provides a case in point. Note these words: “For the customs of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel. They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter.”

Can you see condemnation of a Christmas tree in those words?

No? Yes? And yet, there was a time (and still is in some circles) when this text was used to condemn the observance of Christmas at the most – and having a Christmas tree at the least.

The text is simply part of a long chapter that has only two points: There is only one God and no one is like Him. God cares not a fig for Christmas or Christmas trees. He does care that people not supplant Him in favor of anything. He alone commands our constant allegiance and obedience – because He alone created all things and sustains them by His power.

Could you use that text to talk about Christmas trees?

Absolutely not. The Bible doesn’t mean whatever we want it to mean, nor are we allowed to apply it to whatever we want to apply it to. The text has a specific meaning. To take our eyes off God’s meaning in favor of one of our own is . . . well . . . the essence of idolatry.