Worship Only God-Jeremiah 44:15-23

Jeremiah 44:15-23 “Then all the men who knew that their wives were burning incense to other gods, along with all the women who were present — a large assembly — and all the people living in Lower and Upper Egypt, said to Jeremiah, 16 “We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord! 17 We will certainly do everything we said we would: We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and will pour out drink offerings to her just as we and our fathers, our kings and our officials did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. At that time we had plenty of food and were well off and suffered no harm. 18 But ever since we stopped burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have had nothing and have been perishing by sword and famine.” 19 The women added, “When we burned incense to the Queen of Heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, did not our husbands know that we were making cakes like her image and pouring out drink offerings to her?”. 23 Because you have burned incense and have sinned against the Lord and have not obeyed him or followed his law or his decrees or his stipulations, this disaster has come upon you, as you now see.”

Geremia 44:15-19 Allora tutti gli uomini, i quali sapevano che le loro mogli offrivano profumi ad altri dèi, tutte le donne che si trovavano là riunite in gran numero e tutto il popolo residente nel paese d’Egitto, a Patros, risposero a Geremia, dicendo: 16 «Quanto alla parola che ci hai detta nel nome del Signore, noi non ti ubbidiremo, 1ma vogliamo mettere interamente in pratica tutto quello che la nostra bocca ha espresso: offrire profumi alla regina del cielo, farle delle libazioni, come già abbiamo fatto noi, i nostri padri, i nostri re, i nostri capi, nelle città di Giuda e per le vie di Gerusalemme. Allora avevamo abbondanza di pane, stavamo bene e non vedevamo nessuna calamità; 18 ma da quando abbiamo smesso di offrire profumi alla regina del cielo e di farle delle libazioni, abbiamo avuto mancanza di ogni cosa, siamo stati consumati dalla spada e dalla fame. 19 Quando noi offriamo profumi alla regina del cielo e le facciamo delle libazioni, è forse senza il consenso dei nostri mariti che le facciamo delle focacce a sua immagine e le offriamo delle libazioni?»23 Perché voi avete offerto quei profumi e avete peccato contro il Signore e non avete ubbidito alla voce del Signore non avete camminato secondo la sua legge, i suoi statuti e le sue testimonianze, perciò vi è avvenuto questo male che oggi si vede».

 

     The practice of idolatrous burning of incense to the Queen of Heaven involved preparing bread shaped into her image. The Queen of Heaven was a Babylonian goddess of love and fertility (Jeremiah 7:18). Judah also poured out drink offerings of wine to other gods. Jeremiah warned the people that continuing the practice of worshiping the Queen of Heaven would bring judgment. Leviticus 26 describes the consequences of practicing any form of idolatry. 

     One of their arguments for continuing such pagan practices was that they thought as long as they worshipped the Queen of Heaven, they had plenty of provisions and stopping this would invite hardship. They suffered the common trait among us of spiritual myopathy and selective memory. The truth was that the opposite was true. Whenever Judah and Israel vowed and practiced obedience to the Lord, the blessings followed. Jeremiah continued to prophesy to them that God knew all their sinful ways and the day was coming when He would endure it no longer and the land would be desolated and their refusal to repent would be their doom.

     Historically, it would only be a matter of months when the Babylonians would conquer Jerusalem and carry off some of the Jews into captivity. The duplicity of trying to claim the name of God while following other gods ultimately sealed their fate. Only a remnant survived this destruction and lived the remainder of their life in slavery. The warning is no different for us. There is a day coming when God will say, “Enough!” to the wandering after other things except the Lord.

Pray with me: Lord, I am grateful that Your Word shows me the balance of both the blessings as well as strong corrective measures that keep me from looking to the left or to the right instead of to You. Help me to not make excuses for my behavior but embrace and live a life completely devoted to You.



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