"This Makes God Really, Really Angry!"
by Dennis Michelson
Introduction: In twelve-step programs today they say you can choose your own "higher power" and the only requirement is that "it be loving, kind and forgiving." A god of your own understanding is nothing but an idol by another name. The Bible gives us a complete and accurate picture of the attributes of God.
We hear people say that God hates the sin but loves the sinner. The Word of God says that God is angry with the wicked every day. There are some particular behaviors and mental attitudes which invoke extreme displeasure and punitive response from the Almighty. This is a tough chapter but sometimes the best medicine tastes really bad. Jeremiah does not put band-aids on cancer.
1. What Causes Such An Execration? (44:12)
The term execration found in verse 12 means "an imprecatory oath." It comes from a Hebrew root which means to make a promise. In this case it is a promise of evil and not good. Jeremiah cites five specific reasons or cases for such an oath -
2. What Were Their Excuses?
- Going to Egypt instead of Babylon (44:1)
They sought to avoid God-ordered chastisement by going back to the place from which they were delivered from bondage. There is a lot of preaching here about the fruitlessness of running from God.
It did not work for Israel and Jonah and it will not work for anyone else. How many times have we seen people jump out of the frying pan and into the fire. Anytime you find yourself running back to Egypt, it is sure sign you are running from God.
- Serving other Gods (44:3)
They started burning incense to the "queen of heaven." Incense speaks of prayers being sent heavenward. Do you know anyone today who prays to the "queen of heaven" and sincerely believes she will intercede for them.
God does not bless sincerity - He blesses Truth. Sincerity without verity is nothing but profanity and rather than pleasing God it makes Him very, very angry. There is one God and one mediator between God and man . . .and it is not the "queen of heaven."
- Ignoring God's prophets (44:4)
When God sends someone to speak His Word then you had better listen.
- Pride instead of humility (44:10)
God resists the proud.
- Rebellion against God-ordained authority (44:19)
They would not listen to the prophet and this led to "Then all the men which knew that their wives had burned incense to other gods . . ."(44:15) Now in verse 19 the wives are blaming the husbands and saying that they did nothing "without our men?" Sounds like a role reversal from the Garden of Eden.
They pleaded -
- Antiquity (44:17) Our fathers did it.
- Authority (44:17) Kings and princes did it.
- Unity (44:15) A great multitude.
- Universality (44:17) In the cities of Judah
- Visibility (44:17) In the streets
- Uniformity (44:17) Done in Jerusalem/mother church
- Prosperity (44:18-19) We were blessed materially.
Everyone of these excuses is still used today to support and defend a host of unbiblical practices.3. What Can They Expect?
- Cursing and reproach (44:8)
- God's face against you (44:11)
- Punishment (44:13)
- God finally moves (44:21-22) and moves finally!
- Reprobation (44:25)
- You will eat your words (44:28) "mine or theirs?"
Rather than tickling ears, Jeremiah stepped on a lot of toes. The parallels between Jeremiah's day and ours are absolutely incredible.