Why Are The Sinfull Blessed
Text: Jeremiah 44:15-19
Proposition: Why are people blessed in Sin?
Many people are like the Jews that went to Egypt. They know what God says about their sin, but they are blessed so they see no reason to repent of their sin. One old man said to me, “I don’t go to church, but the good Lord blesses me anyway.” God has blessed him. He is a wealthy man. Many think that if they are blessed they must be doing what is right. If we are blessed it is God who is blessing us, but it doesn’t mean God is pleased with us. Some who seem to be cursed and have trouble are the ones that God is pleased with. Jeremiah had enemies who wanted to kill him. Paul suffered in his life. Jesus suffered while he was here on this earth. His parents were poor. He didn’t even have a place to lay his head, but God was pleased with him.
If things are going well and I have wealth and plenty to eat, God has blessed me, but he may not be pleased with me. He may be planning calamity for me.
I. God is patient
II. They work hard
III. We are hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
I. God is patient (Why is God patient?)
A. He wants to give the wicked time to repent
1. II Peter 3:1-9
2. God gave the people in Noah’s day 120 years to repent before He sent the flood. Today he is still patient with us. He doesn’t want any of us to perish. So he delays his return and gives man time to repent.
3. God was patient with the people of Judah. He gave them Jeremiah and many other prophets. Jeremiah told them to repent. He told them Nebuchadnezzar was coming and that they should surrender to him. Most didn’t listen to him.
4. Now he is telling the people who went to Egypt against God’s command that Nebuchadnezzar is going to come to Egypt.
5. Jeremiah 44:20-30, God had been patient with them.
6. They should have learned that when Jeremiah speaks God is the one speaking and we should listen.
7. Many people are slow learners. They haven’t learned from the mistakes of others, they have to make the mistake themselves.
a. Napoleon attacked Russia in the summer unprepared for winter. He invaded Russia with 600,000 men. He captured Moscow only to find it abandoned. Napoleon returned with less than 100,000. His men froze and starved on the retreat and were harassed by the Cossacks.
b. Hitler didn’t learn from this mistake. He also attacked in the summer expecting a quick victory. He thought ten weeks were sufficient time to defeat the Russians before winter. Hitler’s armies were less than 20 miles from Moscow. The snow and cold stopped them from going any further. The Russians, dressed for extreme cold, attacked the Germans and drove them back. Hitler’s armies didn’t succeed. They had failed to learn from the mistakes of Napoleon.
c. God has given us a book of history starting at the beginning with Adam and Eve. We have so many examples of what to do and what not to do that there is no excuse for us to repeat the sins of those in the bible.
d. I Corinthians 10:1-13
8. These Jews saw the entire calamity in Judah, but they didn’t figure out the problem was idolatry. They thought idolatry was the cure.
a. Many continue in sin. They look to false religion to cure their problems. Islam offers a cure, but it offers no redemption or atonement for sin. They reject the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
b. They look to money as a cure for their problems. Many worship money.
c. I Timothy 6:9-10
d. This week a man asked me what I did for living. I told him I was a preacher. He said, “Can you bless me?” He was half-joking and half-serious. I said “Sure, but the best way to be blessed is to live right.” He said, “Oh, I do that.” A little while later a man asked him if wanted him to get him anything. He said, “Yes, a million dollars and a beautiful girl.” He thought that was all he needed was a million dollars and a beautiful girl. I thought to myself, “You probably would not be able to keep a million dollars and a beautiful girl. Then you would have more problems than you have now.”
B. He wants to bless his creation.
1. Matthew 5:45-48
2. Acts 14:8-17, God blessed these idolatrous people. He didn’t leave himself without a witness.
3. God had blessed those who were in Judea with a good harvest.
4. Jeremiah 40:10-12
5. Then Ishmael killed Gedaliah and the men with him and took the rest of the people captive and fled to Ammon. Johannan attacked Ishmael and brought the captives back. They were afraid Nebuchadnezzar was going to come and attack again because the man he had left in charge of Judea had been killed. They thought they would be safer to go to Egypt. They asked Jeremiah to pray and ask God where they should walk and what they should do. He said stay in the land of Judah don’t go to Egypt. They didn’t like his answer accused him of lying and went to Egypt anyway.
II. They work hard (Why is their work blessed?)
A. Hard work generally brings gain.
1. Psalms 73:1-19
2. The wicked seem blessed and successful, but their end is destruction
3. Luke 12:16-21, this man had been blessed by God. He had productive ground. He had to work hard in order for that ground to reproduce. He had to get up early. He had some late nights in the harvest season. He only gave himself and his hard work credit. He gave no credit to God. He died with God calling him a fool.
4. Chapo Guzman is one of the wealthiest men in the world. He runs a powerful Mexican drug gang. He is an ambitious and talented man. He is part of the trouble in Mexico with so many people being killed. Most likely someday Chapo Guzman will be killed or captured. If he doesn’t repent of his sin he will spend eternity in hell.
B. Sometimes they are allowed to remain to show the glory of God
1. God lets them go and become powerful. Then he brings them down. God proves every time that the wicked will come to destruction.
2. Romans 9:17
3. Pharaoh was wicked. He was rich and powerful. When God was finished with him he was broken, weak and poor.
III. We are hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (What is the deceitfulness of sin?) Hebrews 3:13
A. The Jews is Egypt were hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
1. The Jews in Egypt were hardened in their sin.
2. They wanted to continue in their worship to the Queen of heaven because they thought she was the one blessing them. They were deceived. The queen of heaven was Astarte, or the moon goddess. The moon can’t bless you. Only the creator of the moon can bless you. Only the creator of the universe can deliver you from calamity and give you bountiful harvests.
3. Isaiah 44:9-20, those who worship idols and wealth have a lie in their right hand.
B. They worship their belly
1. Philippians 3:18-19
2. Many worship whoever can give them the most money.
3. During the last election the economy was the most important topic. Our economy was in trouble and it still is. For many the most important quality in a president is how much money he can put in my pocket, and can he lower the price of gasoline. When George Bush was running against Al Gore a man I knew said he was going to vote for Al Gore because he thought Al Gore would put more money in his pocket. In the last election some people I heard wanted a president who would lower the price of gasoline.
4. The Romans wanted whatever emperor would give them bread and cirucuses
5. Preachers can worship their belly. They preach so that they can have riches and glory. They make their message pleasing to those who will give them big contributions and tell them what a great job they are doing.
C. Letting your wife lead your religious life
1. Jeremiah 44:15-19, the women are the main ones speaking. (without our husbands?)
2. The men let their wives lead them into false religion. They should have stopped their wives.
3. Adam let his wife lead him into false religion.
4. Genesis 3:6
5. Genesis 3:17, Adam listened to the voice of his wife.
6. God expects the husband to lead the family in worship to him. You do to the family devotions. You make sure your family is in church. You make sure your family is not worshipping idols.
7. Jacob had some cleaning up to do.
8. Genesis 35:1-6, he got rid of the idolatry in his house. He got rid of the rings in their ears. A pagan idolatrous people are ones with rings in their ears, eyes, nose and where ever else they decide to put them. There is no difference if I put a ring in my nose or in my ear or in my tongue.
9. Jacob didn’t want idolatry in his family.
10. Worshipping the queen of heaven was even a family affair
11. Jeremiah 7:18
12. It is good to have the family together, but if it is sin the whole family is condemned.
13. Watching the one eyed monster in the middle of your living room can be a family affair, but it is the closest thing to an idol in the United States I can think of. Most living rooms are arranged around it. They are not arranged so that the family can have a good conversation or be with friends. It is arranged so they can pay homage to the one eyed monster.
14. If the husband would like to get rid of the monster in his house sometimes the wife threatens to go with the monster.
Are you blessed in your sin? If you are be careful. Calamity is coming. Vladimir, Prince of Novgorod, became king of Russia. His life came to a crisis in 986 AD. He was a pagan idolater. He was winning wars. He had wealth, wine and women. He had hundreds of concubines all over Russia.
One night when he visited his second wife, Rogneda, at his Lybed palace he sensed danger and awoke just before his wife could stab him to death in their bed. He was going to execute her right there, but their seven-year-old son blinking in the candlelight, intervened. He had his own little dagger. He confronted the enraged King and said, “Father, did you think you were alone here? You can kill my mother if you want to, but I shall be her witness.”
Vladimir responded, “who would have thought you were here.” Vladimir then fled to regroup his thoughts and figure out what to do. After he consulted with his advisers he decided to let Rogneda live to raise their brave son, he might need someone to succeed him on the throne.
Vladimir reasoned what good is the worldly success of warfare, wealth, wine and women when your seven year old son confronts you with a dagger to defend his mother when she herself was about to stab you to death in your sleep. He knew his pagan idolatry was a lie. He set out to find out who the true god was. He examined the major religions of monotheism around him. Islam, Judaism, Roman Catholicism, and Greek Orthodox. Each of them tried to convince him why he should be one of them. The one from Greek Orthodox started in Genesis and went through Creation, Adam and Eve, the promised seed, the flood, leading to the incarnation of Christ his death, burial and resurection. Vladimir finally chose Christianity. He dismissed all of his wives except one and destroyed all the idols in his kingdom.
If you are blessed in sin repent before God sends calamity and all your blessings are gone.