Jeremiah 44

Jeremiah 44 has the prophet in Egypt with the remnant of Judah and God’s word again comes to him.  God wants to explain why their future was not bright, because the “did not listen or incline their ear, to turn from their evil and make no offerings to other gods”.  They chose to sin against God, plain and simple.  They served other gods, were idol worshipers, and went to Egypt in spite of very clear direction from God that they should stay where they were.  And yet they seem confused as to why things weren’t going their way.

So God makes it clear through Jeremiah.  “Therefore my wrath and my anger were poured out and kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, and they became a waste and a desolation, as at this day”.  Sin carries a huge price.  We cannot do whatever we want and expect God to ignore it.  His very nature won’t allow that.  He will deal with sin, and unfortunately we’re all guilty.  We have to deal with our sin problem and need to do it differently than this remnant of Judah who just went about doing things their own way hoping God would eventually just bless them.  It doesn’t work that way.

So Jeremiah delivers the real truth.  “I will set my face against you for harm, to cut off all Judah. I will take the remnant of Judah who have  set their faces to come to the land of Egypt to live, and they shall all be consumed… that none of the remnant of Judah who have come to live in the land of Egypt shall escape or survive or return to the land of Judah”.  Do you see how total God’s words are here – ‘none’ are going to escape.  Sin is individual and each has to pay for their own choice.  What a price to pay so they could do it their way.

As if Jeremiah hasn’t made it clear already, there seems to still be some confusion.  So he makes another run at it.  “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”.  The facts are pretty clear.  God has already began the work of cleaning up the disobedience and sin by laying waste to Jerusalem and most of Judah.  But as is often the case, there doesn’t seem to be a connecting of the dots by the people. So Jeremiah draws a very straight line to the root of the problem.

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”.  Look people – you brought this on yourself.  You can’t blame anyone else.  This is your problem caused by your choice and comes with a very personal pricetag.  The people make all sorts of confessions and promises as to how they were going to clean up their lives.  Jeremiah has one simple response: “Then confirm your vows and perform your vows”.  We can’t merely talk about obedience.  We have to live it.  We have to make choices that align with God’s ways.  It isn’t words that get us in trouble but what we do.  Jeremiah is clear that the walk has to match the talk before God will pay any attention.  Oh that we’d learn that lesson!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: