In Sunday School last week we had a very eye-opening lesson. We are studying Jeremiah and we're in chapter 44, so I suppose I shouldn't have been shocked. But I was.
If you haven't read Jeremiah, it's rather a depressing book. No wonder Jeremiah is called the weeping prophet. He has the prophecies that Judah needs to hear, but they won't listen. Recently in our study, he's been telling them, "Go into Babylon, and you will be safe. You won't be free, but you will be able to build homes and plant gardens. Do NOT go to Egypt or you will die by the sword or famine." But they didn't listen so they fled to Egypt.
That is plenty shocking - I mean you have all the facts...this will happen if you obey and this will happen if you don't - but you choose to go the opposite way that God is telling you to go. But it wasn't what shocked me.
Read the following story about these people who chose to blatantly disobey God.
15 Then all the men who were aware that their wives were burning sacrifices to other gods, along with all the women who were standing by, as a large assembly, including all the people who were living in Pathros in the land of Egypt, responded to Jeremiah, saying,
16 "As for the message that you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we are not going to listen to you!
17 "But rather we will certainly carry out every word that has proceeded from our mouths, by burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, just as we ourselves, our forefathers, our kings and our princes did in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then we had plenty of food and were well off and saw no misfortune.
18 "But since we stopped burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have met our end by the sword and by famine."
Did you see what shocked me??? Did it shock you too? Maybe my title gave you a clue. The wives were burning sacrifices and their husbands, not only were aware, but backing them one hundred percent.
This is a prime example of what a wife's role is NOT. These women were using their influence to help their husbands go down the wrong path. We do have a great deal of responsibility as wives to be a proper help-meet. This was NOT it.
It was a sobering thought to me. Oh, I am not going to head down to the nearest temple to pagan gods and offer a sacrifice there, don't worry. But how often do I challenge my husband's goals and ideals for our family.
Recently, we've been trying to be faithful with our moments. I know my husband's heart is to work diligently, but when he comes home, tired and exhausted, and everyone is sitting around watching TV and things aren't finished, he tends to just sit down with us and join us.
Not that a movie now and then is bad, but sitting on the couch evening after evening when we are parents of seven with work to do even at night, that isn't the best thing for us right now.
Is that a little bit like what these women were doing? Is it the start down that path? I need to be careful to be faithful during the day and use my moments wisely. Some days we have sick kids, and then walking out of that norm is fine, but when the TV days become the norm, that's where this household gets stuck.
Please understand that I'm talking about myself and my family here. I want to be the wife that listens to her husband's heart and then does everything I can to help him get where he feels God is leading us. I can (with the help of my three boys) do a lot while he is gone from home. Our wood splitter helps the four of us do even more for Dad. I really desire to be faithful to my Lord and my husband on a daily even moment by moment basis.
I don't want to be like these women in Jeremiah, who helped their husbands the wrong way. Please do not think that the men had no sin issue here. Far from it!!! But I have been learning that I need to consider my own ways and not my husband's ways.
Daddy can still say, "Let's turn that TV off and spend time together as a family." But I can help by saying no, when they're all asking to watch something.
What did you think about this group of people? Will you pray for me as I guide our children and our family learns to work as a team better?
Making the most of today for His honor and glory,