Jeremiah 44

* The Jews in Egypt persist in idolatry. (1-14) They refuse to

reform. (15-19) Jeremiah then denounces destruction upon them.

(20-30)

1-14 God reminds the Jews of the sins that brought desolations

upon Judah. It becomes us to warn men of the danger of sin with

all seriousness: Oh, do not do it! If you love God, do not, for

it is provoking to him; if you love your own souls, do not, for

it is destructive to them. Let conscience do this for us in the

hour of temptation. The Jews whom God sent into the land of the

Chaldeans, were there, by the power of God's grace, weaned from

idolatry; but those who went by their own perverse will into the

land of the Egyptians, were there more attached than ever to

their idolatries. When we thrust ourselves without cause or call

into places of temptation, it is just with God to leave us to

ourselves. If we walk contrary to God, he will walk contrary to

us. The most awful miseries to which men are exposed, are

occasioned by the neglect of offered salvation.
15-19 These daring sinners do not attempt excuses, but declare

they will do that which is forbidden. Those who disobey God,

commonly grow worse and worse, and the heart is more hardened by

the deceitfulness of sin. Here is the real language of the

rebellious heart. Even the afflictions which should have parted

them from their sins, were taken so as to confirm them in their

sins. It is sad when those who should quicken each other to what

is good, and so help one another to heaven, harden each other in

sin, and so ripen one another for hell. To mingle idolatry with

Divine worship, and to reject the mediation of Christ, are

provoking to God, and ruinous to men. All who worship images, or

honour saints, and angels, and the queen of heaven, should

recollect what came from the idolatrous practices of the Jews.
20-30 Whatever evil comes upon us, it is because we have sinned

against the Lord; we should therefore stand in awe, and sin not.

Since they were determined to persist in their idolatry, God

would go on to punish them. What little remains of religion were

among them, would be lost. The creature-comforts and confidences

from which we promise ourselves most, may fail as soon as those

from which we promise ourselves least; and all are what God

makes them, not what we fancy them to be. Well-grounded hopes of

our having a part in the Divine mercy, are always united with

repentance and obedience.

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