We have recently visited a country in Africa steeped in idolatry. In this sermon from Jer 44:15-19, we will see several things about people steeped in idolatry. This should help us to avoid idolatry in our own worship of God. And this should help us understand the difficulty of leading people to Jesus who are steeped in idolatry.
Idolatry enters predominately through women. Jer 44:15, “their wives had burned incense unto other gods, and all the women that stood by”. See what happened to Solomon in Neh 13:26.
Idolatry causes unbelief in the Bible. Jer 44:16, “As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee”. They are too dependent upon the idol to break from it to trust the Lord.
Idolatry is rooted in self-will. Jer 44:17, “we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth”. Idolatry is used to get a blessing in your personal pursuit from the deity you worship.
Idolatry is perpetuated by tradition. Jer 44:17, “as we have done, we, and our fathers”. The strong family and generational ties to idolatry makes it very difficult for people to break their ties to it.
Idolatry strengthens merchants and rulers. Jer 44:17, “our kings, and our princes”. Kings use idolatry to strengthen their dominance over their subjects. Merchants use idolatry to get rich. See Acts 19:21-41.
Idolatry yields superstition. Jer 44:17-18, “for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil. But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things…”. See Acts 17:22.
Idolatry permeates society. Jer 44:19, “did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men”? The men got into worshipping the queen of heaven just like the women did.
Conclusion: we must be careful to not treat our relationship to Jesus Christ like these idolatrous worshipers of the queen of heaven. And we must be aware how difficult it is to lead someone steeped in idolatry to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.