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The Queen of Heaven!

12/05/2014

Ask the Pastor

Pastor, who is the ‘Queen of Heaven’ in Jeremiah 7:18?

Jeremiah 7:18 The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger.

In this passage, God is describing to Jeremiah the depths of apostasy to which the OT people of God had plunged, in going after idols, and worshipping false gods. One of the commonly worshipped idols was Baal – (the rain god) The worship of Baal was an ancient fertility cult, practised by the non-Israelite people of Canaan (Palestinians). The Persians worshipped a female deity called Ishtar, an Assyrian and Babylonian goddess also called Ashtoreth and Astarte by some people-groups. In some places Ishtar was regarded as the female consort of Baal.

In Jeremiah’s condemnation of the idolatry of Israel, God is telling him to stand in the gates of the temple and preach to the people going in there. They are in mortal danger, and must repent of their idolatry and return to the Lord, and if they do not do so, they will be taken out of the land (cut off from the promises of God).

But they will not repent, for they believe that so long as the Temple is in Jerusalem, the city can never fall. After all, if Jahweh is really God, and if He dwells in the temple, then how can he be defeated, and how could he allow the temple and its surrounds to be captured? This was there theology – so long as the temple is in Jerusalem, and God is in the temple, we are safe, and we can behave whatever way we like. But God has other plans, and Jeremiah must not pray for these people, or intercede for them, – for God will not hear those prayers. v16. To prove to Jeremiah the utter wickedness of the Israelites, he points to the fact that even the children, are caught up in the worship of these false deities. He points out in v23 that the people had deliberately broken covenant with him, and punishment was inevitable.

DISCUSS:

1. We don’t worship the queen of heaven, or Ishtar, or Ba’al. But still we are warned in the Bible about the dangers of idolatry. What other idols might we worship?
2. Sometimes you might hear Roman Catholics refer to Mary as ‘The Queen of Heaven”. Should they do this?

From → Ask the Pastor

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