Refusing to Learn (Jeremiah 44)

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Worship… this?

This is a rather chilling passage in the Bible.

To set the stage, Jerusalem has been destroyed by the Babylonians, they’ve burned the Temple to the ground. a good chunk of the population has been carried into captivity in a foreign country–and the prophet who warned them of all these things, and accurately foretold what would happen, is still trying to get these blockheads to hear God’s word.

And here’s how they answer him. This is the wives speaking.

“As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not harken unto thee. But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then we had plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil.

“And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men?” (Jer. 44: 16-18)

And the men stand there like cigar store Indians. Well, what lame excuse could they make?

God through His prophet told these people He would punish them for their sins–which included the worship of idols like the “queen of heaven”–He told them how and when and why He would punish them: and when the smoke clears, the survivors have learned absolutely nothing. They want their idols back.

Makes you wonder why God bothers to speak to us at all. His love for us is perhaps the most mysterious thing about Him.

Well, as Jesus so often said, He who has ears, let him hear. And as we used to sing in Sunday school, with more good sense than we suspected, “Wise up, O men of God.”