What is the power of consumerism and desire?

Loren Covarrubias Blog

Behold, the noise of the bruit is come, and a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of Judah desolate, and a den of dragons. Jeremiah 10:22

I love the King James Version of the Bible for its poetic language. I typically read from the New King James Version for ease of understanding, but I see how we often miss some good poetic images. This chapter of Jeremiah talks about the vanity, or emptiness, of human behavior. The message here is how the people have become “brutish.” This literally translates as “a person seeking to be a consumer without the need to produce.” They create idols, the works of their own hands, to worship. They want a god who will serve them, rather than the true God who calls them to worship Him. The coming “bruit” is a picture of them being consumed by the works of their own hands. In their desire to serve themselves, they have created a monster that will consume them! This behavior, the prophet declares, will show the foolishness of their ways.

People often talk about the judgment of God coming on people. However, the real message of the Bible is, more often than not, people will judge themselves by reaping what they have sown. The brutish people will be destroyed by the “bruit.” This ancient picture is an example of modern day economics.

The Devil Made Me Do It!
The United States went through a horrendous crisis in 2008-09. Most people did not see it coming, and the efforts to save us from the worst of the crisis seem to have helped; but the question is, “Was the crisis as big as they thought?” You would think it would be easy to understand a system we have created, but history has proven we have little ability to predict true outcomes. Moreover, most of our actions are an effort to manage the problems, not the economy. There is much debate about the course of our economy, and whether we are better off or not. I am not an expert, but I would say sooner or later the success of any person or nation will be what they produce, not what they can consume. For me, the bigger question is, “Why can’t we manage a system we have created?” It is because the system has taken on a life of its own!

So how did the system become a power unto itself? The system originated from human desire, and in the end, it will reflect human desire. The book of Revelation talks about an economic system whose power comes from the dragon or Satan. This gives many people the thought that the battle is with the devil, but what we need to do is ask ourselves, “Where did his power come from?” His power comes from human desire too. From the very beginning, in the Garden of Eden, we can see it was human desire that sought to find life outside of God. This was the source of the Devil’s power in the beginning and it is still the source of his power today!

How can we defend ourselves from the power of the “bruit?” It is as simple as asking, “What motivates us? Is our desire to serve God, or is our desire to serve ourselves?” Let’s make every effort to identify the voice of the “bruit” in our lives and seek the transformational power of God to rid us of its hold!