Our Daily Bread 2022 Annual Edition

By Mike Wittmer

Read: Jeremiah 11:9–13 (NIV) | Bible in a Year: Nehemiah 4–6; Acts 2:22–47

They have followed other gods to serve them. Jeremiah 11:10

Sam checks his retirement account twice each day. He saved for thirty years, and with the boost of a rising stock market, finally has enough to retire. As long as stocks don’t plunge. This fear keeps Sam worrying about his balance.

Jeremiah warned about this: “You, Judah, have as many gods as you have towns; and the altars you have set up to burn incense to that shameful god Baal are as many as the streets of Jerusalem” (11:13).

Judah’s idolatry is remarkable. They knew the Lord was God. How could they worship anyone else? They were hedging their bets. They needed the Lord for the afterlife, because only the true God could raise them from the dead. But what about now? Pagan gods promised health, wealth, and fertility, so why not pray to them too, just in case?

Can you see how Judah’s idolatry is also our temptation? It’s good to have talent, education, and money. But if we’re not careful, we might shift our confidence to them. We know we’ll need God when we die, and we’ll ask Him to bless us now. But we’ll also lean on these lesser gods, just in case.

Where is your trust? Back-up idols are still idols. Thank God for His many gifts, and tell Him you’re not relying on any of them. Your faith is riding entirely on Him.

Read: Jeremiah 11:9–13 (NIV)

9 Then the Lord said to me, “There is a conspiracy among the people of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem. 10 They have returned to the sins of their ancestors, who refused to listen to my words. They have followed other gods to serve them. Both Israel and Judah have broken the covenant I made with their ancestors. 11 Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them. 12 The towns of Judah and the people of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to whom they burn incense, but they will not help them at all when disaster strikes. 13 You, Judah, have as many gods as you have towns; and the altars you have set up to burn incense to that shameful god Baal are as many as the streets of Jerusalem.’


  1. What good thing are you tempted to turn into an idol?

  2. How might you use this gift while still depending fully on God?

Because the people of Judah had persistently refused to walk in God’s ways and had rejected His instructions (Jeremiah 11:10), Jeremiah warned that God would bring a nation from afar to punish them for their idolatrous unfaithfulness (1:14–15; 5:15; 6:22; 25:9). They would also be exiled to Babylon for seventy years (25:11). Jeremiah witnessed the deportations of the Israelites to Babylon and the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple (52:1–34).

Judah’s idolatrous unfaithfulness was chronically deep-rooted. “From the time I brought your ancestors up from Egypt until today,” God said, “they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubbornness of their evil hearts” (11:7–8). Jeremiah called them to turn away from their idols and to worship Yahweh as their one and only true Creator God and King (10:1–11), warning that their dependence on their many gods would be punished (11:12–13).


Father, all my hope is in You. Help me trust in You alone, not in my abilities and assets. In Jesus Holy name, I pray. Amen!!

Read: Jeremiah 11:9–13 (NIV) | Bible in a Year: Nehemiah 4–6; Acts 2:22–47

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