Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | October 12, 2022

Having “The Talk” Goes Off-Track

(3 Minute Read. 12Oct2022)

In the TV comedy Everybody Loves Raymond, the title character Raymond was nervous about doing a “growing-up talk” with his 10-year-old daughter Ally. With five how-to books under his arm, Raymond went to her room expecting to discuss the process of reproduction.

But what weighed on the young girl’s mind was a very different question. She asked instead, “Why did God put us here?”

After hemming and hawing, Raymond’s answer was, “Heaven was too crowded, so God sent you to earth to ease the congestion.” Not a good answer. Not a correct answer.

Ally was essentially asking, “What is the meaning of life?” Her father Raymond couldn’t answer that.

This is a question that most people ask at one time or another. And people try to answer it in many different ways and forms.

We shake our heads at bizarre behaviors seen all around us, but most of these outlandish and even dangerous choices are desperate attempts to find meaning in life. Covering oneself in tattoos, absorption with social media, indulgent consumerism, pursuit of riches, obsession with aliens, pursuit of occult spiritualism, continuous video gaming, intellectual elitism, immoral relationships, idolization of celebrities, and many other distorted endeavors are basically a scrambling to fill a deep emptiness inside. These are idols to which humans devote themselves.

The Hebrew prophet Jeremiah is not the first person that comes to mind when wondering about the meaning of life. But Jeremiah reasons about the meaning of life based on God’s work of creation.

Discussion of the awesome work of the Great Creator drives some of Jeremiah’s deepest insights. He contrasts man’s obsession with idols of wood, silver, and gold with the God who made the world and everything in it.

Meditate on these pearls from Jeremiah:
Thus says the Lord,
“Do not learn the way of the nations,
And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens
Although the nations are terrified by them;
For the customs of the peoples are delusion;
Because it is wood cut from the forest,
The work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool.
They decorate it with silver and with gold;
They fasten it with nails and with hammers
So that it will not totter.
Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they,
And they cannot speak;
They must be carried,
Because they cannot walk!
Do not fear them,
For they can do no harm,
Nor can they do any good.”
There is none like You, O Lord;
You are great, and great is Your name in might.
Who would not fear You, O King of the nations?

Indeed it is Your due!
For among all the wise men of the nations
And in all their kingdoms,
There is none like You.
But they are altogether stupid and foolish
In their discipline of delusion—their idol is wood!
Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish,
And gold from Uphaz,
The work of a craftsman and of the hands of a goldsmith;
Violet and purple are their clothing;
They are all the work of skilled men.
But the Lord is the true God;
He is the living God and the everlasting King.

At His wrath the earth quakes,
And the nations cannot endure His indignation.
Thus you shall say to them, “The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.”
It is He who made the earth by His power,
Who established the world by His wisdom;
And by His understanding He has stretched out the heavens.
(Jeremiah 10:2-12)

Recognition of the work of the Great Creator is the alternative to devoting oneself to what is worthless, empty, and of no lasting value. Faith in the Creator God of the Bible is what gives meaning and purpose to life. As the Westminster Catechism explains, the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

Questions to Ponder

1. How would you answer a 10-year-old who asks, “Why am I here?”
2. In your own life, what absorbing pursuit gets in the way of honoring “Him who made the earth by His power“?

Share your thoughts on this question in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom.
Alere Flammam Veritatis.
Soli Deo Gloria.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday October 12, 2022 A.D.

Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised,
And His greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall praise Your works to another,
And shall declare Your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of Your majesty
And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.
(Psalm 145:3-5)

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Responses

  1. Thought provoking article. I would say to Ally, “Seek out your gift and nurture it. With your developed gift do good. On this quest you will come to know the meaning of life. And if on this quest I can help I will. But know it is your journey.”

    Like

    • Clif, thanks for your articulate and thoughtful response. You are skilled at expressing ideas meaningfully.

      Like


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