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Straw Men and Melon Patches

Jeremiah 10:5 (New International Version)
5 Like a scarecrow in a melon patch,
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."

"Like a scarecrow in a melon patch"...

He stands, arms spread wide; bright checkered shirt fluttering in the breeze, his hat at a jaunty angle.

The scarecrow does his work well. By his mere presence he discourages hungry beast and bird.

At closer scrutiny his eyes stare vacant and his lips are frozen in a forever smile. But a quick and careless glance from a distance, and he could easily be mistaken for the real thing. And between me and a place of fruitfulness there too, can stand a man of straw, in whom I invest too much power and who holds me back through fear.

The preceding verses, 3 and 4 say:
For the customs of the peoples are worthless;
they cut a tree out of the forest,
and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.
4 They adorn it with silver and gold;

they fasten it with hammer and nails
so it will not totter

Back then people made idols of wood. They invested their precious resources in a worthless thing.

I too, must carefully consider the things I give my heart to. I am not so very different to the people I read about in Jeremiah.

I don't want to waste my life's resources; strength and energy, time and finances, on worthless distractions. I long for better focus so that I am like an arrow winging towards a bulls eye; God's purpose for my life.

And I want to poke at the fears that keep me from all that God wants to do in and through me. They are mere shadows, as powerless as a scarecrow.

Jeremiah 10:5
...Do not fear them;
they can do no harm
nor can they do any good.

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