Jeremiah 10 Israel, The Nations, And Judah, Suppressed True Knowledge.
Once again Jeremiah is given a “Thus says the LORD,” which Israel must hear (v. 1). They were not to follow the way of the Gentiles, where they would be dismayed because of how they read “the signs of heaven” (v. 2). They made their own idols which they trusted in vain, even expending their wealth of silver and gold on them, but nailing them down to prevent them from blowing away (vv. 3-4). These are symbols of the futility of their worldviews, putting their trust in their own works, placing themselves and their wealth above God, in fact suppressing the knowledge of the LORD through their idolatry. This is what happens to humanity that chooses to ignore God, they fear what has no life, what cannot do good or evil (v. 5).
On the other hand, the LORD is great in might, he is the living God who acts sovereignly in history (v. 6). Furthermore, he is not only the true King of Israel, he ought to be feared as “King of the nations.” (v. 7a) This is the LORD’s due among all peoples, something which the wise in every nation realize (v. 7b). Wooden idols symbolize what is “worthless doctrine.” (v. 8b) Those given to idolatry are dull-hearted and foolish (v. 8a). Everything about an idol speaks to manmade religion, like metalsmiths working the silver and the gold (v. 9a). These craftsmen are clothed in blue and purple, which symbolizes the two offices of prophet (blue representing the word given), and king (of purple).*
The LORD, as the true and living God, and everlasting King, is not only indignant against Israel, but also against the nations (v. 10). Their idols will perish from He who has made the heavens and the earth (v. 11). By His power he made and governs the world, establishing it with wisdom and discretion (v. 12). The weather itself is controlled by his voice (v. 13). Despite all this knowledge present in the world, humanity is dull-hearted, suppressing this knowledge, and craftsmen are shamed into making what is vain and powerless. They to will perish (vv. 14-15). The LORD of hosts, on the other hand, is “the Maker of all things,” and Israel is his inheritance (v. 16).
In particular, judgment was coming on the remaining inhabitants in the land (vv. 17-18), which was a cause of woe to Jeremiah, an infirmity that he had to bear (v. 19). Even the humble habitation of a tent would be plundered, and one’s children gone (v. 20). The shepherds were also dull-hearted, therefore there was no one, other than the prophet, to preach the truth (v. 21). Desolation was coming (v. 22). However, Jeremiah knew that this was all as a result of the LORD’s sovereign will (v. 23). Our prayer ought to be that the LORD would correct us, for the only other response will be one of absolute judgment, as the nations that have oppressed the LORD’s people (vv. 24-25).