Sunday, November 18, 2018

Jeremiah 44

Today's reading in our daily plan is Jeremiah 44. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.
SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • When the Babylonians invaded and destroyed Israel and the city of Jerusalem, many Israelites were taken to Babylon as exiles and some Israelites fled to Egypt. Today’s passage is a message that God gave Jeremiah to deliver to the people of Israel who were living in Egypt.
  • God’s message began by explaining that the cause of the destruction of Israel was because the people worshipped and served other gods (this practice is called “idolatry”). God reminded the people that he had given them multiple opportunities, over many generations, to stop what they were doing but because they did not, the consequence of their actions was the destruction of their land. While in Egypt, the people of Israel continued to practice idolatry and chose to disobey God so God promised that he would punish them in Egypt as well.
  • The people responded to Jeremiah by saying “we will do what we want” and argued that when they worshiped idols while they lived in Israel life was great and it wasn’t until they stopped worshipping the Queen of Heaven that war, famine, and troubles began (see verses 16-18). The women also asserted that their actions were done with their husbands’ consent and cooperation.
  • Jeremiah responded by saying the people had it backwards: God knew all the behaviors the people had engaged in and all of the terrible things that happened were a consequence of those actions. God told the people they were no longer allowed to speak his name and that nearly all of the Israelites who fled to Egypt would die there. God promised that he would also allow the king of Egypt to fall to his enemies just as Israel had fallen to the Babylonians.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Despite many many warnings, the people of Israel failed to learn their lesson. The crimes of the Jewish people in Egypt were the same as the ones that they committed in Judah and therefore their punishment was the same.
  • In verses 17 and 18 the people have a selective – and really warped – memory when it comes to reality. And so they declare that disobedience to God brings blessings – at least it did in the old days, they say. But God does not change, he is permanent and eternal.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • If there is a problem in our life, it may be due to our not listening to God’s Word – not knowing it at all, or not knowing it in its fullness, or maybe knowing it but not obeying it. If any of those descriptions fit you, keep reading Verve Catalyst daily! Today, talk to God and ask him to help you hear, understand, and apply his Word every day.