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Jeremiah 44-45, Psalm 30

Who is the “Queen of Heaven?” Most scholars believe she is “Ishtar” the goddess of fertility. This fertility goddess seems to have had great appeal for women judging by how they were first and loudest to dismiss Jeremiah. However, fertility doesn’t just refer to human reproduction, but also fertility from the earth, that is agriculture. So the men in Jeremiah’s day also bowed before this goddess, even if in smaller numbers. The argument Jeremiah’s opponents makes is that they were doing just fine when they prayed to Ishtar, but when they stopped, that is when the Babylonians took them captive. Though Jeremiah had been warning of God’s judgement due injustice and idolatry for sometime, the people refused to ascribe their predicament to God’s hand. In response, Jeremiah informs that when Egypt is conquered by Babylon like Judah is conquered, they will know that God is the one who has subjected them to slavery and defeat. At that point it will be too late. Jeremiah’s book has been tragic, so tragic in fact that we see Baruch, though loved by God, should not hope for great things, but only to have his life spared (Jeremiah 45:5). Such are the consequences of being faithful in evil days. Still the consequences for being faithless at whatever time is always greater. So we pray, “Father take these scripture and call forth our fidelity to you, our Lord and King, in every face of our lives. Amen.”

Jeremiah Vaught