It kind of sounds like paper money is rapidly becoming an antiquated art form; even though we still use it here in the US, my daughter in Norway informs me that nobody really uses paper (including checks) over there; “money” is either in the form of plastic or is digitalized via e-devices.
Sigh. Yet another piece of skillful beauty succumbs to society’s need for efficiency, (similar to the LP record jackets giving way to small CD covers only to fall prey to artless MP3 players.) I suppose those in-the-know have decided that such a form of monetary movement is somehow more secure, which in my opinion is debatable. But as usual, I was not consulted.
Not only is the craftsmanship of our paper money exquisite, but through the years, different features have been added to make it increasingly difficult for counterfeiters, unarguably artisans in their own right, to succeed in their objective. Case in point: did you know that if you hold up a magnifying glass (since my multifocals are obviously not sufficiently empowered…) to the rim of the main portrait, you should see the words “United States of America” imprinted all along the border? I tried this with George, but either he was too old (one of the previous forms) and/or too used. Or maybe WikiHow has failed me. OR…
…just maybe I’ve encountered a FAKE!! (Although my life is generally not that exciting. I think it’s probably just option #1.)
Interestingly, God also tried to make it hard for His people to be duped into counterfeit faith as well. He put up several protective barriers in the form of prophets and priests and the Law, family structure, miracles; He basically gave them their own culture. And what was one of THE MAIN items He addressed?
STAY AWAY FROM IDOLATRY! (All caps intended.)
That is, cling to what is real, even if it doesn’t seem to make sense at the time (since times change, and quickly at that.) Run from anything that would replace the sovereignty of God in their hearts. For them, it was many times in the form of a tangible statue made of wood covered with glittering gold or silver. Remarkably in our culture, the glitter is still there even though the “statue” has been replaced by things like bank accounts, retirement funds, possessions, personal health and safety, even relationships.
But here’s the other warning that would behoove us to heed:
“…The craftsmen are disgraced by the idols they make, for their carefully shaped works are a fraud. These idols have no breath or power.”
Who are these craftsmen in our time? Answer: Any person that uses their skillful influence to turn someone away from the Truth to any other pattern of thinking, doing, or feeling. This is skillfully and pervasively done through different forms of media, music, and entertainment. Through educators, counselors, and religious leaders. Or political figures intent on their own power. God calls it “fraud” and their future is “disgrace”.
And the take home, of course, is that we all have influence, whether we accept that fact or not.
Lord help us to use it appropriately!
Jeremiah 10:14 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.