I Was Just Thinking About – CUSTOMS.
One of the things in the Holy Scriptures that cause God’s indignation is the various customs of the people. This is especially true when people begin to make substitutes for Him. One of the Biblical references that express this is Jeremiah 10:2-5, "This is what the Lord says: Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the heavens, though the nations are terrified by them. For the practices 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. Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good.”
As a boy, I grew up in a neighborhood where the people were mostly from Europe and very steeped in their religion. The Church would have Feast Days and parade through the streets carrying their statues, saints and idols. People would come out of the tenements and kneel, or make the sign of the cross, and give money to the statue of their choice. Their money was clipped to a sash that was draped over the statue. These people would utter their prayers while holding their beads (Rosary) as the parade passed by – all of this in attempt to seek favor from “God” and answers for special requests. The people were doing this with reverence and sincerity – BUT – they were sincerely wrong. Why were they wrong? What crucial facts were being missed?
First, the first two commandments, Exodus 20:3-5, “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them.”
Second, I Timothy 2:1,5-6, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people…For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people.”
Third, Hebrews 7:23-27, “There have been many priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood…He always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.” We are to come to Jesus directly. He is The One seated at the right hand of God.
Prayerfully – consider these things with me.