“This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: You saw the great disaster I brought on Jerusalem and on all the towns of Judah. Today they lie deserted and in ruins
because of the evil they have done. They provoked me to anger by burning incense and by worshiping other gods that neither they nor you nor your fathers ever knew.
Jeremiah 44: 2-3
The LORD tells the people why they are being punished: they offered sacrifices and worshipped other gods in the streets and in the temple of the LORD. They sinned! But they don’t get it. Check this out:
“We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord! …
But ever since we stopped burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have had nothing and have been perishing by sword and famine.”
They are missing the point.
They are so deep in their sin they’ve lost sight of the promise of punishment for it. They can’t even imagine that God would really be mad about their worshipping other gods. Even worse, they lived in their sin so long they forgot it was sin. When God confronts them about it, they actually have fooled themselves into thinking that their blessing came from their sin!
I can totally relate to the Israelites’ perspective. It’s dumb, and I know that, but I have totally been there. I have actually thought that my sin is blessing me and God’s conviction calling me back to him is bad for me. It’s amazing how quickly we can lie to ourselves and completely lose sight of reality.
Lord, may you keep me from my own delusions and open my ears to hear your voice as truth. Always. Amen.