“Therefore Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘Behold, I will set my face against you for evil, even to cut off all Judah. I will take the remnant of Judah that have set their faces to go into the land of Egypt to live there, and they will all be consumed. They will fall in the land of Egypt. They will be consumed by the sword and by the famine. They will die, from the least even to the greatest, by the sword and by the famine. They will be an object of horror, an astonishment, a curse, and a reproach. For I will punish those who dwell in the land of Egypt, as I have punished Jerusalem, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence; so that none of the remnant of Judah, who have gone into the land of Egypt to live there, will escape or be left to return into the land of Judah, to which they have a desire to return to dwell there; for no one will return except those who will escape.’ ”
Then all the men who knew that their wives burned incense to other gods, and all the women who stood by, a great assembly, even all the people who lived in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying, “As for the word that you have spoken to us in Yahweh’s name, we will not listen to you. But we will certainly perform every word that has gone out of our mouth, to burn incense to the queen of the sky and to pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then had we plenty of food, and were well, and saw no evil. But since we stopped burning incense to the queen of the sky, and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine.”
So now it is obvious that these poor people who’s lives had been destroyed in Judah were really only interested in improving their own economy. Here, they openly rebel against God and choose to worship “the queen of the sky.” In the process of their rebellion, they actually admit that “we and our fathers, our kings and our princes” had worshiped this god “in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem.” They were doing this when things were going well for them. They believed that when they stopped these practices, it caused things to get worse and worse, so they decided to reject God completely.
God does and will improve the economy of those who love Him, but the key is that we are supposed to love Him. If we love money and our own ability to make things happen, then we can expect our economy to be destroyed. Those who obey God and seek His will, will eventually see their economy improve, but it will only happen when God decides to do it.
Now it was Jeremiah’s word against the word of the people and notice that the issue was finances and security. The truth was finally out in the open for all to see. The people of Judah had decided to trust in their own ability to get wealth by serving gods of their own making, but God was calling them to trust in Him and His word and see His salvation. Rather than seeking God and trusting in Him, the people decided to do whatever had to be done in order to improve their standard of living Doesn’t this sound familiar?