God Condemns Idolatry and Greed

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God Condemns Idolatry and Greed

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Out of all of the prophets, Jeremiah is the one who most leads me to believe that God condemns idolatry and greed. Idolatry can be seen in Christmas, Easter Sunday and Halloween, all of which work against God and God’s way of life.

First, Christmas is about getting not giving. Many say it is a holiday for children, and it is! It teaches a child to want to get, and then later we wonder why many children are so materialistic (Jeremiah 8:10 Jeremiah 8:10Therefore will I give their wives to others, and their fields to them that shall inherit them: for every one from the least even to the greatest is given to covetousness, from the prophet even to the priest every one deals falsely.
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). And its pagan origins are apparent by doing a little research within and outside the Bible. It is clear how God feels about mixing pagan practices with His truth (Jeremiah 10:2-5 Jeremiah 10:2-5 [2] Thus said the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. [3] For the customs of the people are vain: for one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. [4] They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. [5] They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.
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).

Next, Easter Sunday, originating in worship for the ancient Babylonian goddess Astarte's family, is confusing (Jeremiah 7:18 Jeremiah 7:18The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.
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;Jeremiah here uses another of Astarte’s names; “queen of heaven”).Instead of recognizing that Jesus died to save us, the world unwittingly rejoices in the resurrection of Astarte's mythical son Tammuz. God wants us to recognize the sacrifice of His Son the most (Jeremiah 2:11-13 Jeremiah 2:11-13 [11] Has a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. [12] Be astonished, O you heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be you very desolate, said the LORD. [13] For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
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). People watch the sunrise on Easter Sunday and rejoice, not realizing they are diminishing Christ's sacrifice and perpetuating sun worship.

Finally, Halloween (or as I choose to call it -- “Hollow Evening”) is a night to masquerade as anything but truth. Again, we say it is a holiday for children, but it is a night to teach the very young the most abominable tactic: trick or treat! Again, it's about get, and this time it is get or else there may be negative consequences. Why don’t we admit what we have embraced by observing these days? These three major holidays of the Western world all teach children to grasp, grab, and want more. Is it any wonder that many grow up with greed and a sense of entitlement as their principal attitudes?

Jeremiah hated idolatry, but he also hated how his people had become so forgetful of the Eternal, the Provider of the benefits they enjoyed. They ceased to be concerned for the poor, the maimed and the widows. The social network had been so unraveled that those slipping through it were abandoned and unnoticed (Jeremiah 5:26-29 Jeremiah 5:26-29 [26] For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that sets snares; they set a trap, they catch men. [27] As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich. [28] They are waxen fat, they shine: yes, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge. [29] Shall I not visit for these things? said the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?
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).

God showed Jeremiah that idolatry and selfishness go together. When we fail to acknowledge God as the giver of every good gift, we tend to think of ourselves as the originator and sustainer of all the benefits we enjoy, and our attitudes proclaim, “Look what my hands have made!” (Jeremiah 17:5 Jeremiah 17:5Thus said the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departs from the LORD.
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, 9; 9:23-24; 23:17). God told Jeremiah to cry out without ceasing and to show the people these two detestable sins. Should we do anything less?

To understand many of the truths behind the world’s most popular holidays, please request our free Bible study aid booklet Holidays or Holy Days: Does It Matter Which Days We Observe?