Burning Sacrifices to the Queen of Heaven

Text: Jeremiah 44:15-18

Jeremiah repeatedly condemned the people for the sin of idolatry. Here, they did not dispute the charges. They just refused to listen or acknowledge negative consequences of their behavior. Those who are caught up in false religions today do the same things – in their error, they refuse to accept certain things.

They Refuse to Accept…

The Possibility that the Truth Teacher Might Be Right

  • As for the message that you have spoken to us…we are not going to listen to you!” (v. 16)
  • Jeremiah was God’s spokesman (Jeremiah 1:4-10)
  • Of course, claiming to be a prophet of God did not make one a prophet of God – there were false prophets; but they were not willing to test Jeremiah’s words (Deuteronomy 18:22)
  • Whoever speaks what is true is right – test teachings according to God’s word (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22; Acts 17:11); but many ignore the possibility that one might be right so they are unwilling to check

The Possibility that They Might Be Wrong

  • We will certainly carry out every word that has proceeded from our mouths…” (v. 17)
  • They were only interested in doing what they said they would do – keeping one’s word is good (Matthew 5:37), provided that the promised action is right
  • It is better to repent & do what is right than to remain consistent in error (Acts 23:1; 26:19-20)
  • We must be willing to admit the possibility that we can be wrong – receive the word with humility (James 1:21)

The Possibility that Long-Held Practices Might Be Wrong

  • Burning sacrifices…just as we ourselves, our forefathers, our kings and our princes did…” (v. 17)
  • What is right is not determined by how long a practice has endured or by who practices/practiced it – this invalidates the word of God (Matthew 15:6)
  • It is good to hold onto those things which are right (2 Thessalonians 2:15) – but we must reject those things which are wrong, no matter who had accepted them in the past

God for Who He Is – The Only True, Living God

  • Burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven” (v. 17)
  • The “queen of heaven” was a fictional character – yet they served her instead of God
  • The Lord is the only true, living God (Jeremiah 10:10) – therefore He is the only one worthy of worship
  • We must guard ourselves from idols (1 John 5:21) – serve God only (Matthew 6:24), wholly (Matthew 22:37-38), and in truth (John 4:24)

The Fact that Sin Will Be Punished by God

  • We had plenty of food and were well off and saw no misfortune. But since we stopped…” (v. 17-18)
  • They misinterpreted the meaning of their circumstances – believed their false religion was the cause of their prosperity & that trouble came because they quit
  • Trouble came because God’s patience finally ran out (Jeremiah 44:21-23)
  • God will judge us & punish sin (Acts 17:30-31; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9)
  • We should not interpret circumstances in such a way to deceive ourselves as they did – life is not always fair (Ecclesiastes 8:14); the final judgment will be fair (Acts 17:31)

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