Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, faced down the people of Israel who were obstinate in their disobedience. Or rather, they came to face him down. He had been preaching for years that they must turn to God, but they never listened. Jerusalem would fall to Babylon in chapter 52, but even in chapter 44 trouble had come. So the people confronted Jeremiah explaining that back when they used to commit a specific form of idol worship things were pretty good, but when they stopped everything went down hill. (Jeremiah 44:18)
There’s a saying in the statistics world: Correlation does not imply causation. Just because two things happen at the same time, they are not necessarily related as cause and effect. That was the case here. The real cause was not that they stopped for a season but that God saw them sinning.
Jeremiah’s response forces them back to a divine perspective: It was because God saw you worshiping false Gods that all of this has come (Jeremiah 44:20-23).
““Because you have burned sacrifices and have sinned against the Lord and not obeyed the voice of the Lord or walked in His law, His statutes or His testimonies, therefore this calamity has befallen you, as it has this day.”” (Jeremiah 44:23, NASB95)
But their hearts remained unrepentant. And so Jerusalem would fall. God would turn against them. They would die.
Let our hearts be tender before you, ready to repent, and filled with longing for obedience. Show us your next for us and direct us in the way of life.