-God’s word comes to Jeremiah for all the Jews living in the land of Egypt following the conquest of Judah and the rebellion of the prophetic word by Johanan and Azariah and all the arrogant men, which led them to the Pharaoh and his vain protection. God’s word starts with the fact that they had already seen the futility of disobedience, which brought all their calamity for destruction in Jerusalem and all Judah. The primary crime committed against the LORD is listed as burning sacrifices to false gods and serving them even after He had sent His prophets over and over again to turn them from wickedness and vanity. They did not listen or incline their ears to repent from their sin and trust only in the way of the LORD. Therefore, their homeland has become a ruin and a desolation (Jeremiah 44:1-6). God then asks through the prophet Jeremiah why they are doing great harm to themselves in this manner by the whole community provoking Him to anger with the works of their hands in a foreign land, a place He never called them to go. He tells them they are simply cutting themselves off in their ignorance, arrogance, and pride to become a curse and a reproach to all the nations of the earth. They had forgotten the wickedness of their fathers and the kings of Judah, not even becoming contrite in the aftermath of the conquering enemy before their God to fear Him and walk in His law or statutes, which He set before them. Therefore, the LORD say that He is setting His face against them for woe, even to cut off all of Judah except for a very small remnant. They will die by the sword, famine, and pestilence in the land of Egypt becoming a curse, an object of horror, an imprecation (curse, execration, or swearword), and a reproach (Jeremiah 44:7-14).
-Then all the men who knew their wives were burning pagan sacrifices to false gods responded unfavorably to Jeremiah, and in reality, God. They flat out told him that they would not listen to him and his message that was given in the Name of the LORD. They cited their struggles and felt like the queen of heaven had helped them more than the Living Covenant God in terms of having plenty of food and being well off with no misfortune. They erroneously believed that since they had quit doing their idolatrous rituals that they were lacking everything and had been made an end of by the sword and by famine (Jeremiah 44:15-19). Jeremiah’s response to that indicted them with the truth of what really lead to their misfortune and disaster in Jerusalem and Judah. The LORD would not forget their treachery in idolatry and false worship to unknown gods. When He was no longer able to endure it (their evil deeds, abominations, burned false sacrifices, sin, disobedience, not walking with God in His law, statutes, or testimonies) in His great patience, the land at that point became a ruin, an object of horror, a curse, and without inhabitant (Jeremiah 44:20-23). Jeremiah once again pronounces their doom as he taunts them to go ahead and confirm their vows to perform abominations against the LORD of Heaven. God’s Name would not be invoked again in the land of Egypt by the Judeans as the Living God, and He was watching over them for harm and not for good to see them destroyed by the sword and famine until they were all gone except for a very few. Just as Zedekiah, king of Judah, was given over to his enemy Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, so too would Pharaoh Hophra, king of Egypt, be given over to his enemies (Jeremiah 44:24-30). *Application* The arrogance and futility of turning away from God for vain idols should be our primary lesson from this chapter, and in a greater sense this whole prophetic book of Jeremiah and the entirety of the Word of God in the Bible. It is a constant theme that we cannot save ourselves and that false belief systems will never deliver in the end. Don’t get bogged down with short term struggles in the true faith or temporary victories in the fleshly-false world system. God is all-powerful and we should walk with Him no matter what the circumstances feel like. Don’t make the same mistakes as these remnant Judeans who turned away from the One who really could have saved them.
Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 44:10