Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20051005.htm
JEREMIAH: STAYING UPRIGHT AMIDST EVIL PRESSURES
Part XII: Events After Jerusalem's Fall: Crises Caused By Straying From God's Word
C. The Jews' Crisis For Trusting Their Own Judgment Above God's Word
Lesson: For trusting their own judgment over the long-proven Word of God by His long-term proven prophet, Judah's exiles in Egypt experienced a REPEAT wave of God's judgment by the Babylonians!
- In our last lesson, we found Judah's military commander, Johanan erred in trusting his own judgment over God's proven Word in Scripture and through His proven prophet, Jeremiah, cf. Jeremiah 41:11-43:13.
- However, "the man in the PEW" must also watch that he not rely upon his own judgment as his final authority versus what God's Word teaches, and Jeremiah 44:1-30 illustrates this lesson (as follows):
- The Jews' Crisis For Trusting Their Own Judgment Above God's Word, Jeremiah 44:1-30.
- God directed His prophet, Jeremiah to address all the Jews who had fled Babylon's invasion to live in Lower Egypt (Egypt's northern realm of Migdol, Tahpanhes and Noph [Memphis] ) as well as in Upper Egypt (southern Egypt's realm of the country of Pathros), Jer. 44:1; Bib. Know. Com., O. T., p. 1190.
- God's message to these exiles was directed against their continued idolatry, Jeremiah 44:2-10:
- The Lord reminded these exiles from Judah that He had sent the Babylonians to invade Judah due predominantly to the sin of idolatry, a message Jeremiah had preached for four decades, Jer. 44:2-6.
- However, these exiles stubbornly held to idolatrous practices, so God through Jeremiah rhetorically asked them WHY they still held to the sin for which He had already judged their land, Jer. 44:7-10!
- Accordingly, God threatened to destroy these exiles even though they had fled for refuge in Egypt, and that for their continued idolatry, Jeremiah 44:11-14!
- This message by Jeremiah from the Lord was rejected by the exiles, for the men and women REASONED on THEIR OWN that just the OPPOSITE of Jeremiah's message was REALITY:
- The people with the women in particular who worshipped the goddess involved felt it was due to their laxity in worshipping the Babylonian "queen of heaven", "the Assyro-Babylonian goddess Ishtar" from which Roman Catholicism has today applied the same title to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, that had led to their troubles as exiles, Jeremiah 44:15-19; cf. Ryrie Study Bible, KJV , ftn. to Jeremiah 7:18; Loraine Boettner, Roman Catholicism, 1978 ed., p. 136!
- This conclusion came from relying on their own judgment versus proven revealed divine truth:
- As we learned in our last lesson, Jeremiah's long, forty-year track record as a TRUE prophet had been proved to be valid by the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians; for these exiles to counter his prophecy warning of their idolatry was to counter a proven man of God's ministry!
- In reality, had these people noted Judah's long-term history, they would have realized their problems started many hundreds of years before due to Judah's departure from the Lord of Scripture for the worship of pagan gods and goddesses, Ibid., Bib. Know. Com., O. T., p. 1191; Jeremiah 14.
- However, for relying on their own shortsighted view instead of God's proven Word and the words of God's proven prophet, they had turned to the view that was the OPPOSITE of REALITY!
- Jeremiah continued to stand for the truth, claiming the people held the opposite of the truth, Jer. 44:20-23.
- Thereupon, the Lord led Jeremiah to warn that the rebellion of these exiles due to their turning from His truth to their own false reality would be met by severe judgment: the Babylonians from whom they had fled Judah for Egypt's safety would invade the land of Egypt where they had sought refuge, Jer. 44:24-28!
- As proof that this second Babylonian invasion would occur, God had Jeremiah predict that as Judah's king Zedekiah in whom they had once relied had been turned over to his enemies for harm, Egypt's Pharaoh Hophra in whom they now relied would also be turned over to his enemies for harm, 44:29-30.
- Indeed, Greek historian Herodotus (2. 161-163, 169) recorded how Hophra sent one of his generals, Amasis to quell a revolt in his army only to have the army unite behind Amasis to defeat Hophra in battle; Hophra was then given over to the Egyptian people who hated him and strangled him to death, Ibid.!
Application: May we in the PEW (1) NOT rely on our own judgment as our final authority, but (2) on the (a) the teachings of proven men of God (b) that are in accord with proven Scripture, 2 Tim. 3:13-17.