The customs of the peoples are futile 

Old Testament: Jer 10.3–5

To read the Bible in a year, read Jeremiah 9–10 on October 23, In the year of our Lord Christ 2021

By Don Ruhl 

The Lord instructed his people not to learn the way of the Gentiles. He explained why: 

“For the customs of the peoples are futile;
For one cuts a tree from the forest,
The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.
They decorate it with silver and gold;
They fasten it with nails and hammers
So that it will not topple.
They are upright, like a palm tree,
And they cannot speak;
They must be carried,
Because they cannot go by themselves.
Do not be afraid of them,
For they cannot do evil,
Nor can they do any good.”

– Jeremiah 10.3–5 

The Lord showed the utter foolishness of idols. However, can we limit the way of the Gentiles, the people of the nations, to idolatry? No, they have their way of living and it contradicts the way of the Lord. Instead, embrace his word for instructions in living. 


  • What other things of the Gentiles do you see as futile? 
  • Have you fully embraced the way of the Lord? 

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