The People Refuse to Worship The Lord

Jim Dunn was serving as the pastor of the First Baptist Church, and his wife, Gladys, was very friendly and welcoming to people. One particular Sunday when the sermon seemed to go on forever, many in the congregation fell asleep. After the service, to be sociable, she walked up t … More

Worship
Jews from both Northern and Southern Egypt listened to what the Lord had to say through Jeremiah (v. 15). The men knew that their wives burned incense to other gods.  It was an act of open defiance, when they shouted,  “We don’t care what you say or what God says. We’re going to do what we want” (v. 16). We have promised to worship the goddess Astare, the queen of heaven, just as we, our ancestors, our kings and our leaders did when we lived in Jerusalem (v. 17). We had plenty of food back then and nothing bad ever happened to us, but since then we have been dying from war and hunger (v. 18). The women said that when we lived in Judah we worshiped the Queen of Heaven and offered sacrifices to her and our husbands approved of it (v. 19). Then Jeremiah told the crowd 
that the Lord knew what they had been doing and when He could no longer put up with these disgusting sins He pronounced a curse on them (vv. 20-22)

Isn’t it strange how quickly the mind of the flesh can forget? Because they did have trouble in Judah – plenty of It (v. 23). And the extent to which they did have less trouble and more prosperity there was due not to their actions but to the grace of God, withholding judgment. Now you are dong the same things here in Egypt (vv. 24-25). If you keep this up I can assure you that I will never again accept any promises you make (v. 26). Instead of watching over you, I will watch for chances to harm you  (v. 27). Only a few will escape and return to Judah (v. 28). I will keep my threats to punish you in Egypt and will hand over King Hophra of Egypt to those who want to kill him (vv. 29-30).

Application

One thing that God really hates is the worship of false gods. The place where we now live has many false gods. My heart breaks for the thousands who live here who have never heard about Jesus.

Jeremiah 44:15-30 (English Standard Version)

Then all the men who knew that their wives had made offerings to other gods, and all the women who stood by, a great assembly, all the people who lived in Pathros in the land of Egypt, answered Jeremiah: "As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we will not listen to you. But we will do everything that we have vowed, make offerings to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we did, both we and our fathers, our kings and our officials, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, and prospered, and saw no disaster. But since we left off making offerings to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine." And the women said, "When we made offerings to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, was it without our husbands' approval that we made cakes for her bearing her image and poured out drink offerings to her?" Then Jeremiah said to all the people, men and women, all the people who had given him this answer: "As for the offerings that you offered in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, you and your fathers, your kings and your officials, and the people of the land, did not the LORD remember them? Did it not come into his mind? The LORD could no longer bear your evil deeds and the abominations that you committed. Therefore your land has become a desolation and a waste and a curse, without inhabitant, as it is this day. It is because you made offerings and because you sinned against the LORD and did not obey the voice of the LORD or walk in his law and in his statutes and in his testimonies that this disaster has happened to you, as at this day." Jeremiah said to all the people and all the women, "Hear the word of the LORD, all you of Judah who are in the land of Egypt. Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: You and your wives have declared with your mouths, and have fulfilled it with your hands, saying, 'We will surely perform our vows that we have made, to make offerings to the queen of heaven and to pour out drink offerings to her.' Then confirm your vows and perform your vows! Therefore hear the word of the LORD, all you of Judah who dwell in the land of Egypt: Behold, I have sworn by my great name, says the LORD, that my name shall no more be invoked by the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, 'As the Lord GOD lives.' Behold, I am watching over them for disaster and not for good. All the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, until there is an end of them. And those who escape the sword shall return from the land of Egypt to the land of Judah, few in number; and all the remnant of Judah, who came to the land of Egypt to live, shall know whose word will stand, mine or theirs. This shall be the sign to you, declares the LORD, that I will punish you in this place, in order that you may know that my words will surely stand against you for harm: Thus says the LORD, Behold, I will give Pharaoh Hophra king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies and into the hand of those who seek his life, as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, who was his enemy and sought his life."

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »