Jeremiah 44:1-30 & 45:1-5 … GOD TREATS PEOPLE AND THE NATIONS AS THEY DESERVE.
Q.1. What unfaithful conduct was God going to punish amongst the remaining men and women of Judah? – (Jer.44:1-19) =
Q.2. What prediction and promise did God make regarding Judah and Egypt? – (Jer.44:20-30) =
Q.3. Was God going to treat Baruch in the same way as the remnant of Judah? – (Jer.45:1-5) =
Judgment for Idolatry
44 The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the Judeans who lived in the land of Egypt, at Migdol, at Tahpanhes, at Memphis, and in the land of Pathros, 2 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: You have seen all the disaster that I brought upon Jerusalem and upon all the cities of Judah. Behold, this day they are a desolation, and no one dwells in them, 3 because of the evil that they committed, provoking me to anger, in that they went to make offerings and serve other gods that they knew not, neither they, nor you, nor your fathers. 4 Yet I persistently sent to you all my servants the prophets, saying, ‘Oh, do not do this abomination that I hate!’ 5 But they did not listen or incline their ear, to turn from their evil and make no offerings to other gods. 6 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. 7 And now thus says the Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel: Why do you commit this great evil against yourselves, to cut off from you man and woman, infant and child, from the midst of Judah, leaving you no remnant? 8 Why do you provoke me to anger with the works of your hands, making offerings to other gods in the land of Egypt where you have come to live, so that you may be cut off and become a curse and a taunt among all the nations of the earth? 9 Have you forgotten the evil of your fathers, the evil of the kings of Judah, the evil of their wives, your own evil, and the evil of your wives, which they committed in the land of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 10 They have not humbled themselves even to this day, nor have they feared, nor walked in my law and my statutes that I set before you and before your fathers.
11 “Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will set my face against you for harm, to cut off all Judah. 12 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. In the land of Egypt they shall fall; by the sword and by famine they shall be consumed. From the least to the greatest, they shall die by the sword and by famine, and they shall become an oath, a horror, a curse, and a taunt. 13 I will punish those who dwell in the land of Egypt, as I have punished Jerusalem, with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, 14 so 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, to which they desire to return to dwell there. For they shall not return, except some fugitives.”
15 Then all the men who knew that their wives had made offerings to other gods, and all the women who stood by, a great assembly, all the people who lived in Pathros in the land of Egypt, answered Jeremiah: 16 “As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we will not listen to you. 17 But we will do everything that we have vowed, make offerings to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we did, both we and our fathers, our kings and our officials, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, and prospered, and saw no disaster. 18 But since we left off making offerings to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine.” 19 And the women said, “When we made offerings to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, was it without our husbands’ approval that we made cakes for her bearing her image and poured out drink offerings to her?”
20 Then Jeremiah said to all the people, men and women, all the people who had given him this answer: 21 “As for the offerings that you offered in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, you and your fathers, your kings and your officials, and the people of the land, did not the Lord remember them? Did it not come into his mind? 22 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. 23 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, as at this day.”
24 Jeremiah said to all the people and all the women, “Hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah who are in the land of Egypt. 25 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: You and your wives have declared with your mouths, and have fulfilled it with your hands, saying, ‘We will surely perform our vows that we have made, to make offerings to the queen of heaven and to pour out drink offerings to her.’ Then confirm your vows and perform your vows! 26 Therefore hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah who dwell in the land of Egypt: Behold, I have sworn by my great name, says the Lord, that my name shall no more be invoked by the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, ‘As the Lord God lives.’ 27 Behold, I am watching over them for disaster and not for good. All the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, until there is an end of them. 28 And those who escape the sword shall return from the land of Egypt to the land of Judah, few in number; and all the remnant of Judah, who came to the land of Egypt to live, shall know whose word will stand, mine or theirs. 29 This shall be the sign to you, declares the Lord, that I will punish you in this place, in order that you may know that my words will surely stand against you for harm: 30 Thus says the Lord, Behold, I will give Pharaoh Hophra king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies and into the hand of those who seek his life, as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, who was his enemy and sought his life.”
Message to Baruch
45 The word that Jeremiah the prophet spoke to Baruch the son of Neriah, when he wrote these words in a book at the dictation of Jeremiah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah: 2 “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, to you, O Baruch: 3 You said, ‘Woe is me! For the Lord has added sorrow to my pain. I am weary with my groaning, and I find no rest.’ 4 Thus shall you say to him, Thus says the Lord: Behold, what I have built I am breaking down, and what I have planted I am plucking up—that is, the whole land. 5 And do you seek great things for yourself? Seek them not, for behold, I am bringing disaster upon all flesh, declares the Lord. But I will give you your life as a prize of war in all places to which you may go.”
Q.1. What unfaithful conduct amongst the remaining men and women of Judah was God going to punish? – (Jer.44:1-19) = God delivered a message through Jeremiah – to the Jews living in the land of Egypt … (Jer.44:1). He condemned these fugitives from Judah and stated about them – 3 because of their wickedness which they committed so as to provoke Me to anger by continuing to burn sacrifices and to serve other gods whom they had not known, neither they, you, nor your fathers. 4 Yet I sent you all My servants the prophets, again and again, saying, “Oh, do not do this abominable thing which I hate.” 5 But they did not listen or incline their ears to turn from their wickedness, so as not to burn sacrifices to other gods … but they have not become contrite even to this day, nor have you feared nor walked in My law or My statutes … (Jer.44:3-5, 10). The men and their wives responded to Jeremiah – the message that you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we are not going to listen to you! (Jer.44:16). They claimed they were better off – burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her… (Jer.44:18 c.f. Jer.44:15-19). Their idolatry was deliberate and calculating.
Q.2. What prediction and promise did God make regarding Judah and Egypt? – (Jer.44:20-30) = Jeremiah was very certain about the Source of his message. He denounced the Jewish delegation for their idolatry (Jer.44:20-23). With cynicism, he urged them to go ahead and confirm your vows to the queen of heaven (Jer.44:25). Then he added – 26 Nevertheless hear the word of the Lord, all Judah who are living in the land of Egypt, ‘Behold, I have sworn by My great name,’ says the Lord, ‘never shall My name be invoked again by the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, “As the Lord God lives.” 27 Behold, I am watching over them for harm and not for good, and all the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt will meet their end by the sword and by famine until they are completely gone (Jer.44:26-27). Few would ever return to the land of Judah. Just as Zedekiah had been banished to captivity, so would Pharaoh Hophra, king of Egypt in whom they trusted, be given over to King Nebuchadnezzar. Furthermore, Jeremiah gave them a sign that they would see this in their own days (Jer.44:28-30).
Q.3. Was God going to treat Baruch in the same way as the remnant of Judah? – (Jer.45:1-5) = Baruch had faithfully supported and written down God’s prophecies given through Jeremiah 18 years previously (Jer.36:1-4, 32). The people had silenced Baruch. He had felt sorry for himself, and had said – 3 … Ah, woe is me! For the Lord has added sorrow to my pain; I am weary with my groaning and have found no rest (Jer.45:3 c.f. Jer.36:17-18, 26). God understood Baruch’s plight. He told Jeremiah to say – ‘… are you seeking great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I am going to bring disaster on all flesh,’ declares the Lord, ‘but I will give your life to you as booty in all the places where you may go’ (Jer.45:5). The Lord knows how to care for His own (c.f. Jer.29:11; Heb.6:10).