Jeremiah 44:15 Then all the men who were aware that their wives had been making 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 are not going to listen to you. 17 Instead, we will do everything that we have vowed, make offerings to the queen of heaven and pour out libations to her, just as we and our ancestors, our kings and our officials, used to do in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. We used to have plenty of food, and prospered, and saw no misfortune. 18 But from the time we stopped making offerings to the queen of heaven and pouring out libations to her, we have lacked everything and have perished by the sword and by famine.”
The Hebrews are nothing if not practical. Their open rebellion in v.16 “we are not going to listen to you” is shocking. V.17-18 tells us why. Things went better for the people when they worshipped the queen of heaven rather than God. It’s that simple. It’s the old, “What have you done for me lately?”
Of course, what the people are forgetting is the entire Exodus story – how God freed their ancestors from slavery in Egypt, sustained them for 40 years in the wilderness, and gave them a land of their own. But those events were long in the past by the time of this passage in Jeremiah. They needed to eat – now. They needed protection – now.
It’s wrong to worship other gods, but I get it. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Lord give us grace to remain faithful to you when times get tough. Amen.