Ignorant Arrogance – Jeremiah 44:15-19, 28

Then all the men who were aware that their wives were burning sacrifices to other gods, along with all the women who were standing by, as a large assembly, including all the people who were living in Pathros in the land of Egypt, responded to Jeremiah, saying, “As for the message that you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we are not going to listen to you! But rather we will certainly carry out every word that has proceeded from our mouths, by burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, just as we ourselves, our forefathers, our kings and our princes did in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then we had plenty of food and were well off and saw no misfortune. But since we stopped burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have met our end by the sword and by famine.” “And,” said the women, “when we were burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and were pouring out drink offerings to her, was it without our husbands that we made for her sacrificial cakes in her image and poured out drink offerings to her?”

Jeremiah 44:28
Those who escape the sword will return out of the land of Egypt to the land of Judah few in number. Then all the remnant of Judah who have gone to the land of Egypt to reside there will know whose word will stand, Mine or theirs.

What is it that gets into folks that makes them think that they can refuse the truth of God’s Word and continue to stand? How does one grow so arrogant that he or she looks at the God of the universe, the God of all time, the God whose Word brought this world into existence and provided every good thing for mankind and says, ‘We are not going to do what you say!’? Huh? The audacity of such arrogant ignorance is chilling.

“We will not submit to the authority of Your Word and we’re telling You in advance. We’ve made up our minds to ignore You, Father, and pursue what we have seen work in the past. We don’t care about our history and Your provision in the distant past. We know how ‘good’ things were yesterday and we’re going back to our good luck charms to make that happen again. If it works, it must be true!”

Two things:

1) Our tendency as blessed, pleasure seeking humans is to forget the blessings of the distant past in the midst of the struggles of the present. It’s just reality. When things get tough we tend to blame God not reflect on the goodness He has always provided. We want quick fixes and visible change for the good, as we define it. It is called arrogance. We know what is best and since God refuses to listen to us, we will do what we, in our limited, finite, ignorant mindset determine. Our fate, whatever that means, is in our own hands. This is foolishness personified.

2) Simply because something ‘works’ does not mean that it is either true or right. Stealing ‘works’ if you are simply wanting something you do not have; however, that does not make it right or true. It works but it’s wrong. Plus, what seems to work in the short term might just fail in the long term. Truth, however, by definition works. If something is true and right it will work. This is a fact whether we witness the efficacy of the truth or not. Truth is pragmatic, practical; however, just because something appears to work from our limited perspective, does not mean it is true. It may just indicate that we are ignorantly arrogant.

At the heart of all that we say and do must be a humble spirit that is submitting to the will of God as best we can discern it. God always opposes the proud; yet, consistently gives grace to the humble.

Pride kills. Grace saves.

Know this and live by it: God’s Word will always stand in the end. Measure truth claims by God’s Word. Every Word of God proves true. Let every person be proved a liar, God will always be true. He is the way, the life, the truth…..

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