Jeremiah 44* The Jews in Egypt persist in idolatry. (1-14) They refuse toreform. (15-19) Jeremiah then denounces destruction upon them.(20-30)1-14 God reminds the Jews of the sins that brought desolationsupon Judah. It becomes us to warn men of the danger of sin withall seriousness: Oh, do not do it! If you love God, do not, forit is provoking to him; if you love your own souls, do not, forit is destructive to them. Let conscience do this for us in thehour of temptation. The Jews whom God sent into the land of theChaldeans, were there, by the power of God's grace, weaned fromidolatry; but those who went by their own perverse will into theland of the Egyptians, were there more attached than ever totheir idolatries. When we thrust ourselves without cause or callinto places of temptation, it is just with God to leave us toourselves. If we walk contrary to God, he will walk contrary tous. The most awful miseries to which men are exposed, areoccasioned by the neglect of offered salvation. 15-19 These daring sinners do not attempt excuses, but declarethey will do that which is forbidden. Those who disobey God,commonly grow worse and worse, and the heart is more hardened bythe deceitfulness of sin. Here is the real language of therebellious heart. Even the afflictions which should have partedthem from their sins, were taken so as to confirm them in theirsins. It is sad when those who should quicken each other to whatis good, and so help one another to heaven, harden each other insin, and so ripen one another for hell. To mingle idolatry withDivine worship, and to reject the mediation of Christ, areprovoking to God, and ruinous to men. All who worship images, orhonour saints, and angels, and the queen of heaven, shouldrecollect what came from the idolatrous practices of the Jews. 20-30 Whatever evil comes upon us, it is because we have sinnedagainst the Lord; we should therefore stand in awe, and sin not.Since they were determined to persist in their idolatry, Godwould go on to punish them. What little remains of religion wereamong them, would be lost. The creature-comforts and confidencesfrom which we promise ourselves most, may fail as soon as thosefrom which we promise ourselves least; and all are what Godmakes them, not what we fancy them to be. Well-grounded hopes ofour having a part in the Divine mercy, are always united withrepentance and obedience.
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