Then all the men who knew that their wives had burned incense to other gods, with all the women who stood by, a great multitude, and all the people who dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying: “As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we will not listen to you! But we will certainly do whatever has gone out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and 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 we had plenty of food, were well-off, and saw no trouble. But since we stopped burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine.” The women also said, “And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, did we make cakes for her, to worship her, and pour out drink offerings to her without our husbands’ permission?” (Jeremiah 44:15-19)
The Queen Of Heaven
Prosperity is a fickle thing. Times of abundance often fool people to believe that life is good because there is plenty of food, possessions and peace in the land. The heart of man is set on his accomplishments. He looks around and sees a land flowing with all the desires of the flesh feeling secure in what he has accomplished to make the world such a prosperous place. Cities burst at the edges with tall buildings as commerce grows daily. Highways stretch for miles filled with cars and trucks carrying thousands of people and goods in a constant flow of activity. Technology takes man beyond his greatest imagination as the world connects in a global web of information. New discoveries fuel the desire for man to go further into the unknown darkness of space or probe deeper into the watery depths of the oceans. The generation of modern man is so unbelievably smart it boggles the mind to think how far he has come. And he owes it all to the queen of heaven.
In the days of Jeremiah, the nation of Israel was crumbling under the weight of sin. The Lord brought judgment upon His people in response to their rejection of the word of God. One of the complaints brought by the people to the prophet of God was how good things were under the queen of heaven. Fleeing to Egypt for a hopeless effort to save themselves the people are adamant they will not listen to the word of God anymore. Their stubborn hearts were set on doing what they wanted to do because the Lord had brought about this anguish and misery. Recalling the glory days of the nation they remembered how they had plenty to eat, the land flowed with prosperity and there was no trouble. Burning incense to the queen of heaven was the reason for their happiness. Trouble came when they stopped worshiping the queen. Why listen to God? He only brings unhappiness and woe.
The queen of heaven still lives today. Look around and see how many people are following God and how many people are following their own god. The land is prosperous. There is a relative peace in the land. Food is plentiful, most people are well off and there is little trouble. The curse of the blessings of the land is how the goodness of the world takes the heart away from the goodness of God. Who has time to worship the one true God when there is so much fun to have? The Bible is being ridiculed more and more because oppression under the laws of God only brings a lack of prosperity and happiness. God’s laws are restrictive prohibiting the freedoms man wants to experience. Religion is being slowly hammered out of the conscience of society which now views religious truth as un-American. The queen of heaven must be worshiped and we are doing a good job at her feet.
Reading the conclusion of Jeremiah’s book tells the story of how it all ends in destruction. Man seldom learns that worship to the queen of heaven will begin with happiness and end in death. The world may reject the Bible as truth but when all things are said and done – the truth of the Bible will be the only thing standing. The queen of heaven? She will be cast into the lake of fire with her husband.
If adversity hath killed his thousand, prosperity hath killed his ten thousand. (Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, II, 1621)